Company vows to provide Ukrainian consumers with the food they need, but is putting a heavy emphasis on the safety of its workers
MHP, the largest poultry producer in Ukraine, is prioritizing worker safety and continuing it meets the country’s food security needs amid the turmoil caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In a letter on the MHP website, Dr. John Rich, executive chairman of MHP, wrote that the invasion, which began on February 24, led to a full-scale war across Ukraine, and that Russian forces “have blatantly disregarded civilian lives.”
Under these circumstances, MHP vows that it will continue its operations, but it will do so with caution.
“MHP employs more than 26,000 people in Ukraine and supplies approximately 400,000 (metric tons) of chicken meat to the Ukrainian market annually, representing around half of all chicken produced commercially for the domestic market. Today, MHP has determined two priorities: first, to ensure the safety of all its heroic workers and, second, to ensure that all the group’s facilities continue to work to try to fulfil National Food Security requirements,” Rich wrote.
Because some areas that have heavily been under attack are where MHP employees live, the company is relocating them to areas that are safe, and when necessary, providing them with financial help.
Transportation and supply chain
Rich stated that Ukrainian roads are currently dangerous, especially in active zones. He also pointed out that there have been “highly reliable reports” that Russian military vehicles are shooting at “trucks of food supplies vital for the survival of Ukrainian women and children.”
“Many trade channels have ceased operation due to the threat from Russian forces. The company is therefore seeking alternative ways to deliver these vital supplies to the needy. The company is also pledging unconditional and free deliveries to all our valiant defenders as well as hospitals, communities and all who are facing difficult conditions where it is even remotely in the company’s power to export any Ukrainian produce,” the letter read.
Ordinarily a strong exporter, MHP’s ability to export has come to a halt because of the damaged supply routes.
MHP, formerly known as Myronivsky Hliboproduct, is also a major feed producer. The company grows corn and sunflower for use at MHP plants, and wheat, rape, soybeans and other cultures for sale to third parties. In 2020, the company produced 2.4 million metric tons of feed at its three feed mills.
Rich stated that the company will provide updates on the situation when appropriate.