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Food industry

Belarusian products are known abroad thanks largely to the food industry: dairy, meat, confectionery brands, which have won consumer preferences due to their naturality, taste and competitive price. Over the recent years, Belarus has received the status of one of the leading exporters of food products.

The food industry includes more than two dozen spheres with numerous specialized productions. The largest are meat, dairy, confectionery, sugar, brewery and soft drinks productions.

Meat industry

The meat processing sphere in Belarus belongs to the category of active in regard to the introduction of new technologies and equipment upgrades. 1 trillion 163 billion Belarusian rubles were spent in order to improve the competitiveness of Belarusian meat products in 2011 — the first quarter of 2013.

In the consumer market saturation of the republic, priorities are given to domestic producers. The share of domestic products in the sales volume exceeds 99%: meat and poultry — 99.7%, meat products — 99.8%, canned meat — 99.1%. Today there are over 100 companies which carry out the processing of meat in Belarus, among them are:

“Agrocombine Snov”

  • OJSC “Baranovichi Meat-Packing Plant”
  • OJSC “Berezovsky Meat-Packing Plant”
  • OJSC “Grodno Meat Plant”
  • OJSC “Slonim Meat Plant”
  • OJSC “Bobruisk Meat Plant”
  • OJSC “Borisov Meat Plant”
  • OJSC “Brest Meat Plant”
  • OJSC “Orsha Meat-Packing Plant”
  • UE “Minsk Meat Plant” and others

Dairy industry

The Belarusian dairy industry is the trademark of the food industry of the republic which specializes in the production of milk, butter, cheese, ice cream, canned milk and other products. In the recent years, Belarus is consistently ranked among the top five countries-exporters of dairy products in the world. Following the results of 2010, its share in the total world export of dairy products amounted to 4%. The main importers of Belarusian dairy products are the CIS countries — Russia and Kazakhstan.

In the past several years, the dairy industry mastered regular state investments within the framework of a special support program. In 2015, it is planned to increase the volume of milk production in the country up to 10-10.5 million tons per year. At the same time, the sale of such volume of dairy products also requires investments in the development of the dairy industry, the attraction of foreign investors to the country.

The largest enterprises of the sphere are OJSC “Savushkin produkt” (Brest), “Babushkina krynka” (Mogilev), milk plants №1 and №2 (Minsk) and others.

Sugar industry

The sugar industry of Belarus is represented by four companies:

  • OJSC “Slutsk Sugar Refinery”, Republic of Belarus 
  • OJSC “Zhabinka Sugar Plant”, Republic of Belarus 
  • OJSC “Gorodeya Sugar Combine”
  • OJSC " Skidel Sugar Combine”

The main amount of sugar is produced from sugar beets. Part of the products are obtained from the processing of raw cane sugar which is imported to the republic mainly from Cuba and Brazil.

Confectionery industry

The confectionery industry of Belarus produces about 700 various confectionery products: candy, chocolate, cakes, cookies, halva, marshmallows and more. The largest confectionery enterprises in Belarus are OJSC “Kommunarka”, JV OJSC “Spartak”, OJSC “Krasny pischevik”. An active period of technical renovation is taking place at OJSC “Kommunarka” which is implementing a modernization program that will run until 2015. According to preliminary calculations, it is planned to spend 44.38 million US dollars for this purpose. The re-equipment of the factory will allow to increase the production volume of chocolates by at least 1.6 times by 2015.

Beer and soft drinks industry

The beer segment in Belarus is represented by several major enterprises, some of which are owned by foreign concerns. Following the results of the first half of 2013, the share of the major players of the beer market in total production was distributed as follows:

  • OJSC “Krinitsa” — 31.5%
  • Heineken Belarus — 24,5% (belongs to the Heineken concern)
  • OJSC “Brewery “Olivariya”- 20.3% (belongs to the Carlsberg concern)
  • OJSC “Lidskoe pivo” — 19% (belongs to the OLVi concern)
  • OJSC “Brestskoe pivo” — 3.8%
  • other companies — 0.9%.

In the previous years, all the major breweries went through a stage of modernization: following its results, enterprises upgraded their lines, increased the production volumes and developed new types of packaging. Apart from beer, the brewers of Belarus also produce kvass, cider, alcoholic cocktails, soft drinks, water. The beer industry is characterized by high export performance. Thus, in the first months of 2013, 15 million liters of Belarusian beer worth 6.9 million US dollars were exported. Of this amount, 9.2 million liters were exported to CIS countries, namely — 8.8 million liters to Russia; 5.8 million — to CIS countries.

 

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As of today, about 70 companies are engaged in the production of soft drinks in Belarus. And 77% of the total sales on the market accounts for several large companies: Coca-Cola Beverages, Minsk Plant of Soft Drinks, Darida, AkvaTraipl, Frost and K. The soft drinks market in Belarus increases by an average of 6% per year in value terms and amounted to about 350 million US dollars in 2012. The share of Belarusian production accounts for 91% of the market, or 62 million US dollars.

Investments

As practice shows, the Belarusian food industry is attractive for foreign investors. Thus, projects on the production of import-substituting licensed products in the brewing, confectionery industry, and a number of joint ventures have given a good account for themselves. According to specialists, at the moment, some of the promising trends in attracting investments are

  • increase of the production capacity for products with longer shelf life,
  • manufacture of narrow-niche products – in cheese and meat industries,
  • expanding capacities for processing cheese and milk whey using biotechnological methods
  • creation of “shock” freezing complexes for berries and mushrooms, as well as various treatment technologies for vegetables and fruits.