SANAGRO opens the largest free-range hen farm in Slovakia and Central Europe
07. 09. 2023
Horné Suroviny, 7th of September 2023 – The year 2025 is getting closer and it is already clear that it will bring a major change for consumers in Slovakia. Three years ago, a number of domestic and foreign retail chains committed themselves to no longer sell cage eggs on the Slovak market from 2025 onwards. Customers will only be offered eggs from more humane farming of hens – litter farming, free-range farming or organic farming. This is their response to the European Union legislation that says cage hen farming will be banned across the EU from 2027.
However, out of all the eggs currently on our shelves, around three quarters come from cage farming. The transition to more humane farming is expensive and has not yet received any support from the state. As a result, from January 2025, there may not be enough Slovak eggs in the shops. “SANAGRO’s long-term goal is to change the image of traditional coops into modern farms that will contribute to the production of domestic food. We want to promote the country’s independence from foreign food imports, but we also want to do it with a high respect for the quality of animal life,” says SANAGRO CEO Tomáš Kohút.
In response to legislative changes, but also because of the increasing interest of Slovak consumers in food from humane farming, the SANAGRO agricultural group opened a new farm for free-range hens in the village of Horné Suroviny near Senica in the Záhorie region with an annual production of 12 million eggs. It is the most modern and largest farm of its kind in Slovakia and in Central Europe. “The farm has 37 thousand laying hens. We produce approximately 33 thousand eggs daily, so we are able to supply the market with up to one million free-range eggs per month,” adds Matúš Fürek, project manager of the Pipidu brand, the name under which the eggs from the farm will be sold. They will be placed in retail chains in Slovakia and will also go to hotels and restaurants.
“The farm has an area of 15 hectares, the hens have several winter gardens and shelters on a spacious grass area where they can rest or hide from the sun. The farm is also equipped with high-tech equipment and a hall where laying or feeding takes place,” explained Matúš Fürek, project manager of Pipidu, adding that the farm took 1.5 years to build, with an investment of EUR 4.5 million.
“We want to ensure a high standard of living for the animals on our farms so that they feel like they are living in a wild environment. We thus provide a humane environment for free-range hens, while we believe that eggs from this type of farming are more organic and natural,” says SANAGRO director Tomáš Kohút, who also announces that they plan to continue investing in the modernization of their farms.
SANAGRO started hen breeding and egg production three years ago. Initially, the production of eggs was in minimal quantities, later the group opened another production – organic breeding of hens on the Bos-Por AGRO organic farm in Hušky in the region of Záhorie. This farm supplies the market with 600 thousand organic eggs per year.