Higher value creation using an in-house packaging procedure
The Chinese agribusiness company Qingdao Chia Tai Co. Ltd., which is part of Thailand’s largest agribusiness conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group (CP), recently ordered its very first thermoforming packaging machine from MULTIVAC.
The R 245 model will be installed in early May of 2015 and will then be used for consumer-grade vacuum packaging for portions of marinated chicken. The required integration of third-party components, such as an automated filler for marinade and a sophisticated labelling solution into the line, will be carried out at the same time as the on-site installation.
Poultry was long considered a luxury product in China and was only eaten on special occasions. However, over the last three decades, the per-capita consumption increased from one kilogram to nine kilograms per year, as the American Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) reports. The majority is produced locally: In 2011, China became the world’s second largest producer of poultry, behind the United States.
An increase in purchasing power, the growth proportion of women in the workforce and urbanisation are a few of the socio-economic factors playing a role in the booming demand for poultry products. Although many people still prefer to purchase their poultry at the traditional “wet markets”, or live-animal markets, there is a growing shift. People are beginning to shift to traditional markets due to the growing health risks involved with the “wet markets”. This means the demand for convenience products with hygienic packaging and considerably longer shelf lives is growing in China. “The trend is moving towards packaged, ready-to-eat foods and convenience foods, particularly in the cities. The consumers’ awareness of quality and brands is also increasing,” reports Julia Wu, Marketing Manager from MULTIVAC China.
Annual production volume of 50 million chickens
Qingdao Chia Tai Co. Ltd., a modern agribusiness company founded by the well-respected Chia Tai Group in 1989 in the harbour city of Qingdao (Shangdong province) is also profiting from this consumer trend. Like many producers of chicken meat in China, Qingdao Chia Tai covers the entire production chain – from the production of feed to rearing the chicks, with its activities also extending to industrial processing, packaging and sales. The company’s annual production totals around 50 million chickens.
The products available under the Chia Tai brand name include fresh, frozen and pre-cooked chicken in a diverse range of pack shapes and pack sizes. High in protein, lean and free from chemical additives, they are popular among consumers all over China.
However, Qingdao Chia Tai not only distributes its products on the domestic market, but also caters for large, internationally active fast food and supermarket chains such as Lotus, Carrefour, RT-Mart, Wal-mart and Liqun Group. Its international orientation is one of the main reasons Qingdao Chia Tai is counted among the top 500 companies for overseas investors.
The numerous plants operated by the company for producing feed, breeding, slaughtering and dressing the animals are correspondingly modern and state-of-the-art. The processes comply with the guidelines described in the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) concept and are certified as compliant with ISO 9002.