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Fertilised eggs from Catalonia exported to Iran, Iraq, Russia and Africa

A farm in Girona exports 71% of its production all over the world. 90% of the incubated eggs will become living chicks. In order to operate in these new destinations, the company will have to overcome the lack of air connections for its merchandise.

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02 July 2010 05:12 PM

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ACN
Girona (CNA).- Chicken being eaten in places as far as Iran and Russia come from the region of Pla d l’Estany in Catalonia. They are being produced by the company Miquel Avícola, who exports fertilised eggs and chicks to farms all over the world. Exports now represent 71% of their total production and in the next months, the company is looking to begin exporting to Iraq and Sub-Saharan Africa. “These are regions with a great potential for growth”, assured the company’s manager Jordi Stoka. In order to operate in these new destinations, the company will have to overcome the lack of air connections for its merchandise.
The production process at Miquel Avícola begins by laying eggs in one of fifty farms around Catalonia. There are over half a million reproductive hens in total. As soon as the eggs are fertilised, they are artificially incubated, disinfected and sent to the Palol de Revardit plant. “The key is to produce a large percent of fertile eggs and to control the process to where in every 100 eggs, 90 will become chicks”, explained Jordi Stoka.

Once the eggs enter the Miquel Avícola plant, they go through two processes. The majority of the eggs are exported directly; only every five eggs are sent to the incubation room, where temperature and humidity are controlled to produce chicks. Nowadays the plant produces between 1.2 and 1.6 million fertilised eggs a week. Of these, 80% leave the plant just a few hours after their arrival. 71% are sent out for export and the remaining 9% stay within Catalonia. The rest of the eggs are incubated in the Palol de Revardit plant, where after 21 days, when the eggs are hatched and the chicks are born, they are sent to out to farms.

In the last few years the company has developed a clear business model based on exportation. “Our vocation is clearly as an exporter”, said Jordi Stoka. They now export to various European countries such as Portugal and France, the northern African countries Morocco and Algeria, and other countries such as Libya, Iran, and Russia. “We are working with places that have temperatures at 40 degrees below zero, like the Russian winter, and others that have temperatures up to 40 degrees, like Iran”, explained the manager. In the next few months the company intends to extend its market to Iraq as well as countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. “These are regions with a great potential for growth”, said Stoka.

The Logistics

In order to operate in these new destinations, the company must confront two obstacles. The first, financial, and the second, logistic. “On one hand, the euro has devaluated, and on the other, there are not air connections to these new destinations”, stated Stoka.

“The only way into these markets is by air, but there are many problems with this. It may obligate us to fly from Frankfurt to Iran or from Amsterdam and Paris to other destinations, assuming all entailed costs”, he said. The manager also explained that the region of Girona is making strong efforts to create connections out of the Girona airport, but “unfortunately there are not yet connections”.The company transports the product by both boat and plane. The idea is to export the eggs no longer than one week after they have been processed in the plant.

15% more cash flow

The business is predicting a 15% increase in cash flow by the end of 2010. The manager of Miquel Avícola stated that the company has been impacted by the crisis, especially within their Spanish market. “The exportation of our product to third markets has increased our cash flow”, explained Jordi Stoka. He added, “There the crisis is structural. They were not so affected by the construction crisis and can therefore operate better”.

On the contrary, their Spanish market has suffered with the onset of the economic crisis. “The impact on the state market has really been felt, especially because of the decrease of its liquidity”, said Stoka. The company works now amount to around one hundred direct and indirect employees. The Gironese company began business in 1994 under Miquel Callís. Initially, it was solely dedicated to the incubation of chicks for farms, but through the years it has diversified and specialised in fertilised egg sales.

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  • Chickens at the Miquel Avícola plant in Pla d l'Estany.

  • Fertilised eggs awaiting export at the Miquel Avícola plant.

  • The Miquel Avícola plant in Catalonia's region of Pla d l'Estany.

  • Chickens at the Miquel Avícola plant in Pla d l'Estany.
  • Fertilised eggs awaiting export at the Miquel Avícola plant.
  • The Miquel Avícola plant in Catalonia's region of Pla d l'Estany.