The Cooperativa Ganadera del Valle de Los Pedroches (COVAP) has earmarked 6.5 million euros for an investment plan being carried out in its Meat-Processing Facility. The works to improve the installations and equip them with more services began in 2017 and are scheduled to conclude in 2019. This investment aims to apply the most innovative systems to the meat slaughter and processing processes at the Meat-Processing Facility and to improve the capacity and efficiency of the services provided. This will make COVAP’s facility a benchmark for best practices to be able to face the challenges of the meat sector.
This initiative is part of COVAP’s commitment to the meat business, which represents around 20% of the Cooperative’s total business volume. The crux of these interventions is mainly focused on slaughter and cutting lines and lines for preparing beef and Iberico pork products. This will make it possible to considerably increase the processing and product preservation capacities under the best conditions. Most of the work areas will be expanded and equipped with new ventilation, refrigeration and storage chambers to increase the efficiency of processes.
On January 1, these investments were complemented with the expansion of the COVAP team to include the workers of the Cooperativa de Trabajo Asociado (TAIC) who work at the Meat-Processing Facility, optimizing the increased processing capacities being developed.
This has been made possible thanks to the relationship of cooperation and dialog that COVAP maintains with the works councils, Governing Board and workers of TAIC. Following a period of months in which all the parties analyzed the different options on the table, an agreement was ultimately reached that makes it possible to, on the one hand, achieve the labor flexibility necessary to effectively manage the seasonality of slaughters, and, on the other hand, properly guarantee the rights of the 43 workers joining the team. The result will help strengthen the viability and sustainability of the Meat-Processing Facility's activity. COVAP especially highlights the good climate of understanding throughout the entire negotiation process with the meat sector committee, represented by UGT. Meanwhile, UGT/FICA-Córdoba stated: “we value COVAP’s growth as a leading company in the agri-food sector and take a very positive view of the cooperative’s investments and job creation. One great example is the agreement to expand their team to include members of the TAIC cooperative”.
A leading Meat-Processing Facility in R&D&i and best practices
COVAP’s Meat-Processing Facility was opened in 2005 and is one of the most modern in Europe. Located in Pozoblanco, it spans 14,000 m2 and employs an average of 135 workers each year, who will now be joined by the 43 from the Cooperativa de Trabajo Asociado (TAIC) working there.
The facility is divided along its length into two lines (one line for cattle and sheep and another line exclusively for Iberico pigs) and transversally into two spaces (the slaughterhouse and the cutting room).
COVAP’s Meat-Processing Facility is officially approved to export pig meat to the United States and has the IFS (International Food Standard) and BRC Food Safety certifications. Its is also certified as Halal, Organic and Certicar for processing meat from cattle and sheep. The Cooperative has recently been certified by AENOR under the Welfare Quality protocol, one of the most recognized standards for animal welfare.