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The Belarussian town of Grodno, where JSC Grodno meat-packing plant is located, has been historically connected with meat-packing industry. In XVI century, when Grodno was ruled by Rzeczpospolita and governor Staefan Batory, Grodno first became famous for its gastronomic traditions.

During the years of his government Grodno castle became the favorite residence of the monarch, and the town itself became political, social-economical, and religious centre of the country. In Batory army representatives of many nations like Poles, Lithuanians, Byelorussians, Germans, Hungarians served. He gathered the best butchers in his castle, as each military unit preparing for a campaign cooked lots of meat dishes and each tried to be better than the other. On the Batory’s military board as well at a feast at the castle a great number of sausages and delicacies was served up, so Grodno butchers had a chance to permanently improve their skills. As a result Grodno became a European center of meat gastronomy culture. Over the centuries these traditions were kept. The confirmation of that are meat products of the Grodno meat-packing plant. 

Grodno meat-packing plant was founded in 1911, when according to Grodno Council Decree a cattle slaughter-house was built. It was not equipped - the cattle processing was hand-made. About thirty heads of cattle were slaughtered and processed per day, six workers were occupied at the slaughter-house. In 1939 after liberation of Western Belarus the Grodno meat-packing plant operated at the base of this slaughter-house. In 1941 Grodno was timely occupied by fascist Germany. But in 1945 the Meat-packing Plant was reconstructed and began producing 2000 kg of meat and 200 kg of sausage products per day, while forty four workers were employed by the enterprise. In 1949 mechanization of the meat products processing began, e.g. a fridge was built. In 1953 a sausage shop was constructed at the territory of the Meat-packing Plant with 3 tons per shift capacity. In 1959 the enlargement of the fridge was finished for the total capacity of 330 tons for simultaneous meat products storage. Still, to meet the growing demand, in 1970 construction of a new plant outside the town was started. The total area of the enterprise became 10.6 hectare. In 1972 a new Meat-packing Plant with 63 tons capacity per shift was put into operation. JSC Grodno meat-packing plant has been working successfully since 1972 and during its 37-years history has obtained the reputation of a reliable partner and a leader of the branch. In 1972 834 tons of meat of all kinds and by-products of the 1st category, 206 tons of sausage products, 119.5 tons of meat half-finished products, including ravioli were processed per month. Initially the number of workers at the enterprise amounted to 412, comparing with 1200 people nowadays.

Recent Investments
Grodno meat-packing plant capacity was constantly increased, as well as technical re-equipment was held. A number of investment projects was successfully realized at the plant. For example, in 2001 a boiler-room, produced by an Austrian company Berch Laska, was put into operation, so the plant has now its own autonomous central heating system. In 2002 the reconstruction of the heat treatment bay at the sausage-prepare shop was held, the package-washing shop was reconstructed and equipped. According to the Processing industry of the agroindustrial complex developing program for 2003-2004 approved with Decree of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus JSC Grodno meat-packing plant was put on the investment projects list for 2003-2004. The plant has met all the requirements stipulated by the Program. As a result the company made a range of important investments which resulted in production output increase, quality improvement, new working places, better working conditions, advance of technological and sanitary standards and - what is very important - self cost of production was reduced. Under the mentioned plan the following investments were made: the line for pigs in skin processing by SCHULTE (Germany) with 180 heads per hour capacity was installed - which helped increase labor productivity of skin pig processing by 30%; then reconstruction of the production fridge and compressing shop was held, which resulted in using modern technologies for thermal treatment of meat and meat products, improvement of working conditions for staff; besides a new certified industrial laboratory and accommodation spaces for workers were built, canteen was reconstructed and new equipment installed; finally, a new line for cattle slaughter by Dutch company NAVI was put into operation with its capacity of 60 heads per hour. Grodno meat-packing plant can be proud of its production monthly capacity, which in year 2009 was the following: meat of all kinds and by-products of the 1st category - 2 000 tons; sausage products processing - 2 000 tons; meat half-finished products including ravioli - 500 tons.

Scope of Activity
JSC Grodno meat-packing plant produces and offers its buyers more than 450 kind of products: sausages, frankfurters, pastes, semi-finished products, pork and beef meat. The Plant offers it products in different kinds of vacuum and gaseous packing, pre-packing, with and without slicing. Each year 15-20 new items are added to the company product range. In addition to the main activity Grodno Plant reconstructs its own Porechanka agricultural enterprise. The farm’s territory includes 2 000 hectares, 600 hectares of which is plough-land. The rest of the territory are rivers, lakes, meadows and forests. On the territory of 150 hectares of forestry and swampy soils JSC Grodno meat-packing plant plans to cultivate blueberries. JSC Grodno also develops agritourism. In 2001 construction of a agritouristic complex began and was finished in 2009. Garadzenski Maentak „Karobchyzy”, which is situated 12 km away from Grodno, is made like 19-century landlord’s country estate. Garadzenski maentak Karobchyzy is not just an entertaining complex; it is a bright example of Belarussian architecture. At the territory of 16 hectares with wonderful natural landscape, large and small ponds, there are forests inhabited by wild animals. There is a stable for horses and ponies of different kinds, a stage for 150 seats, a restaurant as well as cages with exotic birds.

The plant’s success would not be possible without reliable partners. JSC Grodno cooperates closely with agricultural enterprises of Grodno region, materials and equipment suppliers. The most important partners for JSC Grodno are Republican retail chains which help the plant effectively determine product range. The plant cooperates with many foreign partners, too. For example, Polish company supplies food adjuncts Wiberg, skin, salted pork bacon. JSC Grodno supplies the Polish company with cattle slaughter products. The line for cattle slaughter is equipped by a Holland company Navi. The assistance at searching, selection and integration of the equipment was rendered by an engineering company Schulte. The company Berch Laska (Vienna, Austria) supplies components and main data modes for the equipment used within the production. For many years JSC Grodno meat-packing plant has been successfully cooperating with German producer of mixtures, adjuncts and concentrates - Shridde. In its turn the plant supplies horn and hoof raw materials to Germany, endocrine-enzymatic raws to Spain, boneless beef to Iran. The main goal for the plant nowadays is not a one-time sale, but stable on-going and mutually beneficial cooperation with its partners. JSC Grodno meat-packing plant is declared to be the winner of the republican competition „The best exporter of the years – 2008” at the Food industry category. Despite unfavorable market conditions the Meat-packing Plant was able not only to hold but even double export volumes, exporting meat products to Russia, the EU countries and Iran for the total amount of $ 34 mn (comparing to $ 16 mn in 2007). Export is considered to be a priority for the plant. Export sales share increased by 25%, which proves high quality of products, management and marketing policy effectiveness. Entering foreign markets was possible due to international certification. Since 2003 Grodno meat-packing plant has been working according to the international standards ISO 9001-2001 and ISO 9001-2000. Besides the plant was the first company in the industry to obtain certification according to the Quality management and food products safety System on the base of NASSP principles. In November 2006 the Environmental Management System Certificate according to STB ISO 14001-2006 requirements was received. Quality of JSC Grodno was highly appreciated at many contests. For example, during international contest „Choice of the year 2006” Grodno plant was the winner in „Cooked sausage products nr 1” category. In 2008 Grodno meat-packing plant received the „The Best Product of 2008” diploma. In 2008 the plant won the award of „The Best Belarussian Products on Russian Market 2008” in Grocery products category. Throughout 2006-2010 years JSC Meat-packing Plant participated in competitions in Belarus, Russian Federation, Poland, Lithuania, Germany and other countries. Still, according to General Director OF JSC Grodno, success on domestic and foreign markets is determined first of all not by a large number of awards and international certification, but by unique taste of JSC Grodno products, determined by use of natural products, exclusive receipts, professionalism, skills and responsibility of each of the plant worker. 

Written by Kateryna Ferdyn

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