A Message from the Editor’s Desk 20 May 2020


Reimaging production,

policies & operations

Last week Rex spoke about shifting sands around us as the animal protein industry wraps its strategy around a changing operating landscape.

Social distancing is not only transforming operating procedures. With the Horeca sector under siege currently because of restaurant closures, truncated tourism and hotels operating at extremely low capacity, if at all, the demand from this once vibrant sector has dived to negative.

While there is hope that it will pick up once the crisis is controlled, most industry watchdogs are certain that it will not be business as usual. For one, distancing is bound to lower capacity and this may leave dining out a more expensive option.

In addition, there is depressed pork supply and high prices to contend with, as well as supply chain disruptions that are driving feed prices up.

The industry around us, while crafting plans to survive in this new environment, is readjusting on many levels.

Thailand’s Sun Group is zeroing in on health conscious customers in China. “Growing health consciousness among Chinese consumers is spurring demand for premium chicken meat,” Chamlong Termklinchan, CEO of Sun Group told Asian Agribiz. Sun Food is the leader in Thailand in raising birds without antibiotics using slow growing breeds.

In Indonesia, the government is helping meat processors improve productivity and competitiveness by considering meat supply for the industry be separated from supply for end-consumers. Ishana Mahisa, Chairman of Indonesia’s National Meat Processors Association told Asian Agribiz, if the supply is separated, their members will get meat raw material at lower prices.

The government in Bangladesh deployed mobile stalls to sell USD 5.6 million worth of meat in one day across the country to bring goods from farmers to market. This was to help marginal farmers without market access during the lockdown.

Singapore, meanwhile, has simplified US processed beef import-protocols. Previous requirements involved onerous Singapore Food Authority registration and approval for each product. Now, the SFA registration and approval process are no longer required provided the importer is already under the AMS EV approved list.

In the swine sector, the Philippines is still battling ASF outbreaks. In early May it reported 58 new outbreaks in Luzon, to the World Organization for Animal Health. The country culled another 11,074 pigs, bringing the total as of May 4 to 282,899. The outbreaks were traced to illegal transport of animals and swill feeding. An industry practitioner told Asian Agribiz that while the country continues its fight against ASF, the government and industry players must begin rebuilding efforts

Vietnam is raring to rebuild its industry. Viet Duc International Nutrition Co Ltd has imported 250 PS pigs from the Inspired Nutrient Company of Thailand. This is the first batch of 20,000 sows and 200 boars to be imported in 2020 as agreed by the two parties.

This is despite a resurgence of ASF in 22 localities which led to the culling of 12,000 pigs. “Although the market is attractive with high pork prices, the risk is too high. We are just restocking at 10-30% of our capacity,” Nguyen Huu Thang, a pig farmer in Dong Nai told Asian Agribiz.

Hartman Mareno Sukses, a pork cuts producer based in North Sulawesi, Indonesia is strengthening its distribution network in big cities and tapping into other potential regions in eastern Indonesia. “Consumers in Indonesia still think that frozen pork is of low quality and many do not understand the nature of the pig carcass and premium and secondary cuts. Continuous education is needed,” Gilbert Wantalangi, President Director of Hartman told Asian Agribiz. He plans to set up a further processing plant, producing pork bacon, ham and sausages.

Stay inspired and updated on industry developments at www.asian-agribiz.com:

Vietnam and Philippines look to a revived hog industry

Online agri-grocery shopping startups gain-traction

The evolving Asian-food-market

New Hope Vietnam looking to close the duck-meat value chain

We are offering the next two issues of the online version of Asian Pork Magazine, free-of-charge. The May/June 2020 digital edition of the magazine is now available.


Stay safe and healthy from the team at Asian Agribiz!

Conny Pereira
Editorial Director, Asian Agribiz


Click here to read ‘Accelerating transformation’, Rex Holyoake’s message from last week.