Kuban is one of the three leading regions in milk production
However, in one of the most dairy regions of the country, milk processing enterprises are not working at full capacity. According to industry representatives, this is due to fluctuations in demand, insufficient access of Kuban producers to the procurement market, as well as new state requirements for the quality and safety of dairy products. According to experts, small businesses are in the most difficult situation.
According to the Ministry of agriculture and processing industry of Kuban, today the region is one of the five largest producers of livestock products in Russia, including the third place in milk production in agricultural organizations. In the Southern Federal district, the region is the absolute leader in milk production.
Since the beginning of the year, milk production has amounted to 1.05 million tons, which exceeds the level of last year by 74.5 thousand tons (by 7.6%). Dairy market experts assess the overall state of the industry in Krasnodar region as stable.
According to Marina Petrova, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for the development of entrepreneurship in the agro-industrial complex and General Director of Petrova Five Consulting, the volume of raw milk production increases annually both in the sector of agricultural associations and peasant farm holdings. According to Rosstat, in January — September 2020, the increase in raw milk volumes was 10% compared to the same period last year and reached 891 thousand tons. At the same time, almost a third of the total volume of Kuban raw milk is accounted for Agrocomplex named after N. I. Tkachev, which is a leading player in the Federal market.
The regional authorities set the task of Kuban animal husbandry not only to fully provide the region with dairy products and establish supplies to the Russian market, but also to increase exports. Krasnodar region is participating in the national project "International cooperation and export" for the second year. Since the beginning of 2020, exports of meat and dairy products amounted to $ 24.2 million, which is 15% higher than the annual plan. By 2024, the region will have to increase the volume of exports of agricultural products to almost $ 3.8 billion.
To implement plans to increase milk production, in the spring of this year, the Kuban authorities approved the amount of subsidies for the purchase of pedigree young animals in the amount of 70 thousand rubles per head. This support measure should help increase the number of cows and replace low-yielding herds. According to the Ministry of agriculture and processing industry of Kuban, the total number of pedigree cattle is 54.1 thousand conditional head, which are kept in 44 breeding organizations engaged in breeding of pedigree farm animals. Services are provided by 14 other breeding organizations. The average productivity of one cow in 2019 was 8098 kg (+380 kg).
There are plans to build a breeding and genetic center (BGC) specializing in dairy cattle breeding, which should help reduce dependence on breeding imports.
For example, over the past 15 years in the educational and experimental farm Krasnodarskoe, the productivity of cows increased by 106% and at the end of 2019 amounted to 12,523 kg of milk produced with an average fat content 3.6% and protein content 3.3% with a somatic cell count of no more than 120 thousand, which corresponds to premium quality milk. In the future, the farm plans to reach a yield of 13 thousand kg per cow.
LLC Progress Agro is successfully implementing a program to accelerate the production of a high-yield herd. Daria Gorskikh, Deputy Director for animal husbandry, told Kommersant-Kuban that over the past five years, the company has received 918 heifers due to the use of the method of Holstein embryo transplantation to cows of a less productive Ayshire breed. The average daily milk yield per cow has increased by one kilogram over the past two years.
In 2016, another method was introduced: insemination of Holstein heifers with sexed semen, that is, divided by gender. ‘Heifers obtained on own farms allow you to abandon the import of expensive imported animals completely, which leads to significant savings,’- explains the interlocutor of Kommersant-Kuban.
According to Daria Gorskikh, new technologies are radically changing the situation in the industry, increasing its profitability. According to estimates of economists of the company, the profit fr om the use of sexed semen will amount to 32.7 million rubles.
At the end of the year, the company plans to receive an average of 8,500 kg of milk from each cow of both Ayshire and Holstein breeds. And on breeding farms — an average of 10,900 kg per cow.
Despite the record volume of milk production, the capacity of Kuban milk processing enterprises is less than half-full. According to experts, a number of factors hinder the development of the dairy industry. These include fluctuations in demand and insufficient presence of Kuban enterprises in the state and municipal procurement market.
‘Out of 1,400 thousand tons of milk produced in Kuban, 900 thousand tons are processed by enterprises of Krasnodar region, the rest of the raw materials are exported to neighboring regions. However, the potential of milk processing facilities has already been created in Kuban, which allows processing at least 2.5 million tons of raw milk,’ says Konstantin Sinetsky, General Director of the Southern Dairy Union to Kommersant-Kuban.
Since the beginning of 2020, exports of meat and dairy products amounted to $ 24.2 million, which is 15% higher than the annual plan. By 2024, the region will have to increase the volume of exports of agricultural products to almost $ 3.8 billion.
According to him, today a significant number of enterprises are unable to supply their products to the state and municipal procurement market due to various restrictions.
‘The procurement system is very complex. Milk processors often cannot participate in auctions. For example, purchases of dairy products are combined in one lot with purchases of other product categories, such as raw vegetables, meat, fish, etc., which the manufacturer cannot fulfill. On the other hand, the specified requirements for the total volume of previous executed state and municipal orders for admission of participants to the auction are overstated to levels unattainable for ordinary enterprises. As a result, purchases become available mainly to resellers. In addition, as a result of the fact that the main criterion for selecting suppliers of products is a low price, as well as due to the lack of control over the purchased products, public procurement has become a channel for selling falsified or low-quality products. It turns out that instead of Kuban products, customers are supplied with dairy products without proper state control. This is also happening in the HoReCa segment and in the Spa sector of Krasnodar region. Three years ago, the Governor of Krasnodar region raised this issue, and according to him, the share of Kuban products on the territory of Krasnodar region coast is no more than 7-8%,’ explains Mr. Sinetsky.
The expert is sure that if these markets were accessible to local businesses, the industry would be easier to develop.
Two years ago, a new production facility was opened in the region — LLC Novokubansky dairy plant. According to Director of production Nikolay Golovan, at the moment the capacity of the enterprise is loaded by 30%.
‘The plant is able to process 80 tons of milk per day. The company has a huge potential. But at the moment we are not working at full capacity, as the market has a low purchasing power. In addition, we need to make efforts to find new markets,’ explains Mr. Golovan. ‘Novokubansky dairy plant produces fermented dairy products and a wide range of cheeses only from natural raw materials, without vegetable fats and the use of milk powder, while we keep the average price, sometimes at the expense of profitability. In conditions of low purchasing power and a huge number of cheap products, including Belarusian ones, we do not raise the price even for such a milk-intensive product as cheese. At the same time, raw milk is constantly becoming more expensive,’ explains Nikolay Golovan.
In his opinion, to help processors, it is necessary to support the sale of products at the local level, ensuring its greater presence on the shelves of local stores of local and Federal retail chains.
Due to the fall in purchasing power during the coronavirus pandemic, the demand for dairy products is also changing. According to the head of the Southern Dairy Union, today the demand has moved to low-margin products.
‘The coronavirus pandemic has affected the popularity of certain products among buyers. Previously, when people were in offices, expensive dairy products in small packaging for snacks were in demand, and during the quarantine, affordable basic traditional types of products in family packaging became relevant. In addition, the demand for products from the HoReCa segment has almost disappeared, and purchases of dairy products under state contracts for kindergartens, schools, etc. have been stopped. It is obvious that the margin for basic products in family packaging is significantly lower than for high-margin products, and enterprises have not received the profit that was planned,’ explains Mr. Sinetsky. According to his forecast, in 2021, demand for dairy products will remain the same if there is no rise in the price of dairy products.
Along with a decrease in purchasing power and fluctuations in demand, processors name digital labeling of finished dairy products as one of the main stressors for the industry.
Since 2021, dairy products will be sold on store shelves with a special label "Honest mark" to exclude falsification. Now, as part of the innovation, the experiment continues, in which Kuban manufacturers also participate. Products are equipped with Data Matrix codes.
However, Mr. Sinetsky is confident that the introduction of a digital labeling system for finished dairy products can lead to a number of negative consequences for the industry, including a rise in the price of products and the closure of small dairy processing enterprises. Members of the Southern Dairy Union have already asked Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin to exclude dairy products from the list of products subject to mandatory labeling with identification marks. ‘21 enterprises of Krasnodar region provided us with calculations. Their costs for implementing the labeling system will amount to about 1.6 billion rubles. In addition, their annual expenses for labeling will additionally amount to at least 1.1 billion rubles,’ notes Konstantin Sinetsky.
According to representatives of the Southern Dairy Union, the current Mercury system is already designed to fight falsified products; it simply needs to be improved. In addition, the extension of the digital labeling system to finished dairy products will negatively affect market offers. ‘Enterprises will not be able to maintain the price of the product, due to the increase in production costs. To implement the requirements of the legislation on labeling, the Data Matrix code must be applied to each unit of product packaging. During the experiments, companies faced the problem of applying codes to a part of the packaging traditionally used for packaging dairy products, such as soft multi-layer film, etc. Therefore, it may be necessary to change the usual packaging for the consumer for the convenience of labeling,’ says Konstantin Sinetsky. Many of the milk processing companies, he said, will not be able to work. Even today, there are a lot of enterprises in the region that are in a pre-bankruptcy and bankrupt state.
Large agro-industrial holdings in the region declare their intentions to develop both dairy production and processing. According to the Ministry of agriculture, over the past five years, 23 livestock farms have been opened and modernized in Kuban (excluding peasant farm holdings).
Konstantin Sinetsky noted among the most significant investment projects implemented in recent years: a baby food factory of JSC Wimm-Bill-Dann in Timashevsk; Ice-cream factory of JSC Korenovsky milk canning plant; plant for the production of cheese and butter, LLC Cheeses of Kuban in the village of Vyselki; brand new plant for the production of milk and dairy products LLC Novokubansky milk factory; production of elite blue cheeses and the construction of two new cheese-making shops on the basis of LLC Kaloriya.
This year, the intention to build a dairy complex worth 3.5 billion rubles in the village of Shkurinskaya of Kushchevskaya district was announced by Agrocomplex named after N. I. Tkachev. The complex is designed for 2,800 dairy cattle and a daily production volume of 85 tons of milk. In Kanevskaya district, by 2022, it is planned to launch a dairy farm worth 2.1 billion rubles and with a capacity of 30 thousand tons of milk per year.
According to Marina Petrova, both investment projects are universal and optimal in terms of return on investment. In addition, the new projects will allow Krasnodar region to increase the volume of raw milk production by 3% and maintain the leading position of the region as a milk producer. Agrocomplex named after N. I. Tkachev will thus provide its own processing with high-quality raw materials and strengthen its position in the market of cheese and whey powder, including in the part of whole and fermented dairy products,’ Ms. Petrova notes.
However, according to Konstantin Sinetsky, most investors are not in a hurry to invest in milk processing and are waiting. ‘At the initiative of the state, new requirements for the industry are being introduced: digital labeling, the establishment of sanitary protection zones, new environmental legislation, etc. In addition, a year ago, the implementation of the traceability system for finished dairy products based on the electronic veterinary certification system of the Federal state information system “Mercury” was completed, which required huge financial investments and efforts from manufacturers. Therefore, investors are now primarily thinking about how to meet all the requirements of the state in order to continue their activities. Investment in development is the next step,’ said the Head of the Southern Dairy Union.
According to the Ministry of agriculture, in 2020, state support for the industry amounted to almost 1.7 billion rubles, which is 30% more than in 2019. New areas of support have appeared: subsidies for the maintenance of dairy and meat cows, as well as subsidies for the purchase of pedigree young animals by import (Kuban became the only region in the country wh ere this support measure was introduced). The Ministry of agriculture of Russia announced plans to expand the list of measures to support the dairy industry in 2021, including providing reimbursement for the construction and modernization of processing enterprises.
According to Konstantin Sinetsky, milk producers, due to state support, really increase milk yields and livestock, develop the material and technical base of farms. In addition to subsidies, they are also compensated for part of the direct costs incurred for the creation and modernization of agricultural facilities, so-called capex, concessional lending, grant support for agricultural producers, etc.
"Milk processing enterprises do not receive this support, since they are not agricultural producers, with the exception of preferential lending to processors for the purchase of equipment at 5%. However, this is not direct support, but a loan that needs to be worked out and returned on time. In our opinion, state support for milk processing enterprises is required not only in the form of financing, but to a greater extent in the format of state programs aimed at creating a positive image of dairy products and promoting the benefits of using milk and dairy products among the population. The state should hold accountable state officials who make unsubstantiated statements that discredit dairy products in the eyes of consumers, such as unsubstantiated statements by representatives of the Rosselkhoznadzor that soda, lime, and chalk are mixed into milk. On the other hand, false statements by representatives of the Center for the advanced technology development about a significant share of falsified products in the dairy industry, etc. Today, the consumption of dairy products in the Russian Federation is at the level of 234 kg per capita per year, while the norm recommended by the Ministry of health of the Russian Federation is 325 kg per capita,’ Mr. Sinetsky concludes.
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