Westvlees and Covalis, two leading Belgian pork companies, announced plans to merge. According to the joint statement, the two companies joined forces to build a sustainable future for the European and global market.
West Meat Group Covavee and Agri Investment Fund (AIF), the shareholders Westvlees and Covalis respectively, signed a framework agreement on Mar. 31, 2015 to merge their pork operations.
Covalis, headquartered in Leuven, was formed as part of Covavee – a cooperative formed by over 700 pork producers and supply 85% of the hogs. Presently, Covalis slaughter 2.2 million hogs annually at its Comeco and Covameat plants. Recently, the company has developed a transparent pricing system to farmers, Autofom. This provides the information for producers to identify desirable carcass quality for the marketplace.
Westvlees, a family-owned business based in Westrozebek, process approximately two million pigs a year. The company has a unique combination of slaughter, cutting, deboning and freezing facility, giving it an advantage to be the first Belgian company fir direct exports to China. Currently, the company sells pork products in 40 countries outside of Europe.
The newly formed company Belgian Pork Group will have the ability to handle the entire pork processing chain from farmer to consumer with a genetic market-oriented focus.
Together, the group would have the capacity to process four million pigs per year or one-third of the Belgian market.
The merger is subject to approval of the Belgian Competition Authority.