Ukraine food producer warns of “catastrophic” impact on food supply

Ukraine food producer warns of “catastrophic” impact on food supply

Dr John Rich, chairman of MHP, one of Ukraine’s biggest food producers, has said that if its operations were to fail it would pose a major risk to the country’s population.

MHP is a London listed poultry company with over 30,000 workers in Ukraine.

The company’s Australian chairman has been running the company from its offices in Slovenia and believes its survival is crucial to the country. Rich said: “A lot of our competitors, particularly in the east of the country, have ceased to exist.”

MHP is also a major name in Ukrainian agriculture, growing wheat and grain on thousands of hectares of land. In addition, the company is also an exporter of sunflower oil, though the company’s exports have been put on pause following the Russian invasion.

Rich said that the next few weeks would be critical for sowing wheat and other crops but warned that Russian advances in the country may make this unachievable. He added: “The consequences are unimaginable as far as Ukraine is concerned.”  

He went on to say that the current situation in Ukraine would have global ramifications. According to the chairman, the price of wheat, corn and other commodities will continue to rise and there will also be spiralling inflation amid the ongoing supply chain issues caused because of Covid.

MHP has been involved in the humanitarian effort to support civilians in Ukraine during the conflict. Rich said that he has heard reports that some civilians have spent up to five days without food.

Rich added: “We’ve been delivering ready to eat food, because people can’t cook outside, and delivering to villages that have become cut off.

“At present, the company is operating like a war room. No question.”

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