Poultry meat producer “Putnu fabrika Ķekava” will invest 2.3 million euros in the production of antibiotics-free high-quality meat by the end of 2020. Ķekava’s long-term goal is to become a premium-quality meat producer renowned across Europe.
Ķekava has defined three main priorities: bird welfare and health; production growth and increasing the range of antibiotic-free products; exchange of experience and developing intersectoral cooperation in fighting the rise in antibiotic resistance.
“With the increase of imports from non-EU markets and the rise of antibiotic resistance, the quality of meat has become a major issue in the poultry market both globally and within the European Union. Thanks to targeted quality investments, 99% of the birds at Ķekava are already growing healthy without the use of antibiotics. This is our platform for successful export development, exchange of experience with other local and European producers, and collaboration with responsible government agencies and scientists to jointly raise public demands for meat quality and reduce antibiotic consumption in the industry,” says Andrius Pranckevičius, Chairman of the Board of “Putnu fabrika Ķekava”.
Confirming consumer appreciation of the high quality of Ķekava meat and the company’s steady growth, the turnover of “Putnu fabrika Ķekava” increased by 12% in 2018 and reached EUR 74 million. The company’s exports have grown by 17%. The main export market is Sweden, to which Ķekava exports 49% of its export output.
“Ķekava’s experience in antibiotic-free production is already being appreciated in Europe. This year we have become a member of the EIP-AGRI focus group involved in reducing antimicrobial use in the EU. There, Ķekava is one of few producers among other experts such as universities, the EU Commission, etc. We will continue and purposefully develop this direction in 2020, cooperating also with the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies and scientists,” says Andrius Pranckevičius.