European horsemeat scandal cuts Doly-Com’s exports by 20 percent

Newsroom 03/04/2013 | 19:01

Romanian meat processing company Doly-Com targets a EUR 34 million turnover this year, close to the level reported in 2012 given the evolution of the purchasing power as well as the recent horsemeat scandal. After the producer was wrongfully accused of having been one of the players responsible for the mislabeling of horsemeat as beef this February, its exports dropped by about 20 percent, said Iulian Cazacut, Doly-Com’s owner and general manager.

The company runs an abattoir in Roma, a village near Botosani in north-eastern Romania where it processes beef (50 percent of production), pork (5 percent of production) and horsemeat (5 percent). Doly-Com says its abattoir is the largest for cattle and horse in the country and it is also the largest fresh meat-packaging plant.

In a share of 90 percent, its exports consist of beef while the rest is taken by horsemeat which the company started processing and selling abroad starting 2011 after it saw demand coming from Western Europe. Doly-Com’s main export markets are Austria, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Germany and Bulgaria as well as countries outside the EU.

Despite the recent scandal, Cazacut exports will continue to be a focus even if demand for horsemeat has dropped following public opinion pressure. Sold volumes dropped and some contracts were suspended. “Nevertheless, things are evolving into a positive direction but it takes time and the authorities’ involvement,” said Vasile Urzica, Doly-Com’s strategy and development manager.

The company estimates the Romanian beef market to be worth some EUR 70 – 80 million this year, whereas the average Romanian eats 60 kilos of meat per year – half is pork, about 35 percent is poultry and beef covers 10 percent.  One of Doly-Com’s strategies for the local market is to promote its own brands for freshly packed beef.

Read more in next week’s print edition

 Simona Bazavan

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