Mexico’s SuKarne expands footprint to increase exports

Stephen Cooke, 06/06/2017

Sukarne has maintained a steady growth rate of 20pc in sales over past 20 years. Image: Sukarne.


Mexico’s largest beef producer, SuKarne, has expanded its footprint outside its homeland to access more export markets.

SuKarne supplies of 70 percent of Mexican beef exports and has recorded a compound growth rate of 22.6pc over the past 10 years – double that of its competitors, including the USA.

The company processes 1.6m cattle per year in Mexico and will approach $3b in sales by the end of this year.

Daniel Graugnard

Alltech research scientist, Daniel Graugnard, told Alltech’s One17 Ideas Conference, held in Kentucky last month, that Sukarne’s flexibility to meet particular specifications from each country was the cornerstone behind its growth.

The fully integrated company continues to evolve, investing in manufacturing top quality leather, rendering and fertiliser production.

SuKarne has five processing plants in Mexico and Dr Graugnard said it has changed its operation’s focus from carcases to boxed beef, with 67pc of beef sold as boxed beef last year. About 25pc of its production is exported.

Its scale enables it to target premium cuts in each market, leading to its annual growth through better returns. SuKarne uses the same method for pork, chicken and fish, gaining further returns.

“SuKarne has a tight connection with all producers of Mexico – big and little,” Dr Graugnard said.

“120,000 farmers sell to SuKarne. They provide financial support and technical support, in both beef and grain production, and customers have commitment to sell to them.

It has created a company to producer fertilisers from its manure and waste and this is sold to its suppliers, as well as farmers that supply them with grain.

SuKarne plans to replicate this model in other countries, and purchased a plant in Nicaragua two years ago, its first outside Mexico.

“That country needs investment and farmers want to improve the beef industry so they are willing to sell to SuKarno.

“This plant gives them access to different markets that they can’t access with beef from Mexico.

“They will continue to expand to more countries in Latin America.”

SuKarne currently exports 200,000 metric tonnes of meat to 10 countries and its purchase of plants outside Mexico will help it reach its goal of making beef accessible to more consumers around the world.

Dr Graugnard said SuKarne is investing in research to improve the quality of the herd in Mexico – making them more efficient and improving beef quality.

The company’s biggest problem is the wide variation in animals they receive. They have limited control over what they receive and conditions can be tough in Mexico for growing animals out to preferred feedlot entry weights.

It is currently working with genetic companies to bring in better genetics for their suppliers.

  • Alltech funded Stephen Cooke’s attendance at the Alltech One Conference.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Beef Central's news headlines emailed to you -