Marel and PMJ to serve the global duck meat market
Bas van der Veldt, managing director PMJ says, “PMJ focuses entirely on duck processing, while for Marel, the duck industry is not their core business. We now have technical, supply chain, sales and service people from Marel and PMJ together, looking under each other’s hood. The first quick win we’ve achieved is the production of a duck processing shackle in Marel’s manufacturing facility in Dongen. We used to have quite some challenges with outsourcing this piece of equipment, but using the expertise of Marel’s supply chain, we are able now to solve this issue in-house.”
At the moment, the first results of the cooperation are already visible in joint trajectories to serve customers around the world, such as in Turkey and Russia.
Globally, China is by far the most important duck processing market. 70% of the global production takes place there, while consumption is even higher in percentage. After all, many duck processors in the world export a considerable part of their duck products to China.
“Now that we are together, PMJ and Marel want to map out the Chinese market and then penetrate it. But that is not a process that is completed within a year. A clear strategy must be formulated for this.
PMJ was quite active in other Asian countries such as South Korea and Thailand. It is very challenging to gain a foothold in Asia with Western technologies and Western prices. And that is all the more true for China. There are many local parties there for scalding, plucking and waxing. We’ll even have to beat the local blacksmith who fabricated some special machine.”
Bas van der Veldt continues, “The very low labor costs in those countries used to be another obstruction for automation, so cheap manual processing was predominant until recently. All that is changing now, also in China, with higher wages and higher welfare, and people who no longer want to work in slaughterhouses. Now is the time to introduce our automated solutions in China.”
In Europe, France, Hungary and Poland are the most important duck meat producing countries. While the rest of the world is breeding mainly Peking duck for meat, European plants will also process many Barbary ducks, also called Muscovy ducks, renowned for their plump, firm meat.
Unlike Peking ducks, that are processed at 6 weeks old, Barbary ducks are grown until 12 to 14 weeks. Males and females feature a considerable weight difference, varying from 2,5 kilos to 5 kilos. At this age, Barbary ducks are more difficult to process because of the feather adhesion and the further developed bone structure. “With our PMJ solutions, however, we succeed in processing a mixture of males and females with different weights and sizes on one single line,” says Bas van der Veldt.
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