The Ukrainian Agribusiness With a Global Appetite
MHP has seen exponential growth in the last two decades, skyrocketing from a 10-person operation in 1998 into the leading poultry company in Ukraine
The backbone of MHP has always been a sound business model. Having carefully studied poultry companies around the world, its founder and CEO, Yuriy Kosyuk, saw an opportunity to build a globally competitive protein company from the ground up.
“We eliminated the problems our competitors have and built a company that was smart and efficient. We have a competitive edge because we control everything,” said Kosyuk.
Vertical integration is the key to the success of the company, which in 2017 exported 220,983 tons of chicken meat to 63 countries and employed nearly 28,000 people. Through managing every step from growing the grains for feed, to incubating eggs, processing some of the highest quality organic chicken products on the market and even using manure for biogas, the company has one of the lowest production costs in the industry.
Starting the business in Ukraine was also ideal, not only because of its vast fertile land but also because of a wide open market – in 1998, the country imported 99 percent of its chicken meat. “Ukraine is the best place in the world for this kind of production, better than Brazil and the United States,” said Kosyuk.
Now, the company is working to achieve its targets of becoming a major player in the industry. This year alone, it plans on investing $250 million to expand its business, and within the next 7-10 years, it aims to produce 1 million tons of chicken protein annually – approximately 1/13 of the total global production.
What has been your approach to investment in Ukraine?
Compared to our main competitors, we have invested a fortune. We have put billions into the construction of facilities and creating a new business landscape in Ukraine, which is why we are so profitable.
How do you view doing business in the country?
There is a lot of potential because the landscape is still quite empty. We work in a lot of countries all over the world, and I am completely confident that Ukraine is the best country in the world in which to do business. Our appetite is to be a leader in the world, based in Ukraine.
Are you open to international partnerships?
There are many opportunities. We could do business together in areas from green energy up to very complicated agricultural products. There are also opportunities in technology: we are currently developing an AI system in the company alongside Microsoft, whereby our company will be a pilot for the rest of the world.