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Lar: A 19-year loyal partnership in Brazil

August 23, 2017

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When 55 small farmers in Brazil decided to create the cooperative 53 years ago. Pig farming was already part of their daily routine. It was the basic family food and any extra pigs were sold. Loyal to its origins, Lar Cooperativa Agroindustrial (located in the west region of Paraná, in Southern Brazil) has never stopped its pig farming activities.

Irineo da Costa Rodrigues, President of Lar Cooperativa Agroindustrial: ‘Pig production is a relevant economic activity, with an important social role. It helps settle families, promotes family continuity and improves quality of life. We add value by converting vegetable protein into animal protein.’

Like other cooperatives, Lar has led the modernisation process of agribusiness that has made Brazil one of the world’s largest producers. Lar has grown to become the eighth largest agricultural company in Brazil, according to the renowned 2016 Exame magazine ranking.

The transition from a family-sized pig farm to modern pork producer started 19 years ago, when the cooperative started a multiplier farm for 2,500 sows. At the same time the partnership with Topigs Norsvin started. In the years that followed new investments increased the size of the production to 26,700 sows.

Dirceu Zotti, Plant Manager of Lar, has been there during these 19 years of partnership and says the relationship with Topigs Norsvin has evolved into a strong and harmonious cooperation. ‘The first ten years were exceptional, taking us to the worldwide top. However in the following years we experienced some stagnation in relation to the other players,’ he says.

Next steps with TN70
The merger of Topigs and Norsvin and, in particular, the launch of the TN70 sow gave a new boost. This new line, already producing their second litter at Lar farms, exhibits excellent results. ‘We still can’t exactly define the results of the TN70 offspring but we will be able to soon. But looking at the feed conversion rate of 2.36 we have now with Topigs 20 offspring slaughtered at 121.1 kg (267 lbs) live weight. Compared to the potential of the TN70, we will surely achieve much better ratios. If the father and mother improve the feed conversion ratio of the sibling by between 10 and 12% and if this ratio is improved by half, we’ll have one of the best conversion ratios in the country.’

According to the manager, at farrow 1 and 2, TN70 has produced on average 1.4 piglets per litter more than the average group. This represents an increase of 3 to 4 weaned piglets per sow per year. Another advantage is the carcass quality. ‘At the farm, the TN70 adds extra value. We have evidence that the improvements are also seen in the carcass quality,’ he says. ‘These changes in management and field service and the launch of TN70 are building an even more promising scenario for the historical partnership with our cooperative,’ he concludes.

Lar Cooperativa Agroindustrial is a cooperative with 10,500 pig producers. Lar has 9,000 employees and is active in poultry and swine production, as well as feed, soya, cassava and vegetable processing.

The cooperative has shown continuous growth. When comparing 2015 to 2016, its earnings increased by 20.6 %, reaching just over 1 billion US dollars. Pig production is accounts for 6% of the companies business.

The cooperative’s strategic planning foresees a growth to 47,000 sows in the next 15 years.

Visit the website of LAR (in Portuguese).