Bahía Blanca’s Villa Olga Refrigerator exports kosher beef to Israel
The first three containers of frozen kosher beef produced at the Villa Olga Refrigerator, located near General Cerri, left the port of Ingeniero White this week bound for Israel. The shipment marks the first time beef has been exported through the local terminal in over a decade.
Challenges to overcome for local producers
The shipping of frozen beef came as a result of a joint effort between the Villa Olga Refrigerator and the Catter Meat firm located in Buenos Aires, which agreed to export the product from Ingeniero White. Local producers struggled with container and line availability for their product, however, the Port Management Consortium of Bahía Blanca came to their aid, supporting them through the process.
Increasing production and exports
The goal is to send around 12 containers of beef every month to Israel’s market in a first stage. Each container has a product cost of around $200,000, so in one month, there will be well over US$2.4m in movement and transactions. To achieve a greater monthly production target of 1,500 tons, exports would have to expand while authorizations to enter new markets are also being sought, such as the US and China.
Supporting local industries and workforce
With the revitalization of the Villa Olga Refrigerator, the local Beef Industry creates an additional 300 job sources, making it a vital source of income for residents in Bahía Blanca and Southern Buenos Aires. Federico Susbielles, President of the Bahía Blanca Port Management Consortium, described the joint effort as a step towards creating a food cluster within the region, which will empower local industries, such as beef production, and foster regional productive chains that will eventually flow into the local port.
Silvio Siracusa, head of the Villa Olga firm, expressed profound gratitude to all those who helped the shipment become a reality and underscored the importance of keeping the output of production through local ports to consolidate and drive the industry.
The Villa Olga plant currently slaughters 300 to 350 animals per day and is making efforts to consolidate with this volume to reach 400 by the end of the current year. The internal market remains a destination for about 35 percent of their production.
With a larger volume of slaughtering and increase in commercial demand, the plant aims to produce more and potentially tap into the US and China markets. The industry is looking for innovative ways to export, with conversations currently ongoing to explore chilled meat exports to Israel by air, leaving through Buenos Aires.
The success of the first shipment of frozen kosher beef from Bahía Blanca to Israel demonstrates the industry’s capability to produce and meet international standards while simultaneously supporting the livelihoods of the local workforce, thus making it a win-win situation for all parties involved.
Disclaimer: The author of this article is not affiliated with any organization mentioned in the article.