New Ukraine plant creates animal by-products for pet food

Feednova, a company based in Lviv, Ukraine, recently launched its first plant for processing animal by-products into high-protein pet food and feed materials in Busk, Ukraine, for US$20 million.

Feednova’s plant is designed to recycle 220 metric tons of animal by-products per day, to produce 90 metric tons of highly valuable feedstuff, Andrey Ogorodnik, general director of Feednova, said. Traditionally considered waste in terms of human food production, this feedstuff is expected to be primarily used in the pet food industry.

“Pet food producers are our priority, for which the highest quality products with the highest protein content is required,” Ogorodnik said, adding that this pushes Feednova to seek a GMP+ certificate. 

Until the GMP+ certificate is obtained, Feednova plans to focus on selling primarily to small pet food producers, both in Ukraine and overseas. The company expects up to 80% of its products to land in foreign markets. Feednova also said it has achieved a supply agreement with a major Ukrainian pet food producer.

“Given the global market’s size of 4.8 million tons, and its growth dynamic of 3% per year, the company expects to account for 0.5% of the global market [of raw materials for pet food production],” Ogorodnik said.

Eliminates need to import raw materials for pet food

Feednova is a joint venture between Ukraine companies EFI Group and UMG Investments, and the Dutch company Mada Participations BV.

In the next several years, Feednova plans to launch three similar plants in Ukraine; two have already been drafted. In each case, the investment cost is expected to stand at US$20 million. The plants could be expanded to also process food waste, primarily collected from local supermarket chains.

Ogorodnik explained that Feednova will spare livestock companies within a radius of 120-130 kilometers from Busk of the need to dispose of animal by-products, as the company will remove chilled raw materials from farms and slaughterhouses using its own vehicle fleet.

“There will be no need for imported raw materials, as we have already established a database of livestock companies in our base region, according to which there is a surplus of animal waste with appropriate quality.”

Providing high-quality meal for growing pet food market

To date, no independent companies have been recycling animal by-products, or waste, in Ukraine, even though some agricultural holdings run facilities to recycle such materials in-house. Almost all meat processing companies have to pay various vendors to burn or bury human-inedible raw materials. During the past few years, several livestock companies in Ukraine were fined for inappropriate waste disposal.

Feednova disclosed that it plans to produce pet food and feed ingredients using dry rendering, a process through which moisture content in raw materials is reduced and all microorganisms are liquidated. The animal waste is ground, after which thermal treatment vaporizes moisture and separates fat. In the end, solids are ground into a ready-for-use meal. The technology has been provided by Mavitec.

Feednova plans to sell its products to the European Union through some trading companies and emerge on the Asian market in the future.

Between 2015 and 2019, the Ukraine pet food market grew by 15% per year. In 2020, the growth slowed down to 10%, according to estimates from Ukraine’s biggest pet food producer, Kormotech. Overall pet food market sales are believed to be close to US$300 million per year.

Vorotnikov is a Russia-based journalist covering the pet food and feed markets.