Following the recently published SOMO report ‘Chicken Run’, the Dutch House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) accepted a motion to prevent that more development money goes to factory farms in Ukraine. The motion was accepted last Tuesday, and states the Dutch disapproval of more funding for chicken meat producer Myronivsky Hliboproduct (MHP) from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). An amount of 85 million euros is about to be granted. SOMO’s report already led to parliamentary questions from the ‘Partij van de Arbeid’ (social democrats).

Chicken Run

The business strategies and impact of poultry producer MHP in Ukraine

The board of directors of the ERBD will discuss the question in the near future. Following the acceptance of the motion, Minister Dijsselbloem stated that Netherlands will not be voting in favour of either current or future funding for factory farms.

MHP slaughters an estimated 332 million chickens per year, which makes it the largest poultry company in Ukraine, and it is about to raise production with 70 per cent. Its Vinnytsia complex is the largest chicken farm in Europe, and local communities suffer from foul smells from manure, transport and slaughter of chickens, increased heavy traffic that damages roads and houses, and constant pressure from the company to lease their land. The company has received nearly half a billion euros in financing from development banks. The SOMO report examines the business strategies of MHP and how these strategies have been shaped by International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and the European Union.

Evidence for the report was, amongst others, gathered by a team of researchers from SOMO, Both ENDS and Bankwatch through a fact finding mission to Ukraine. Following this mission Bankwatch published the report Black Earth.