A US small business will use a loan from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic) to reopen a meat processing plant in Russia that was considered an industry model during the 1990s.


Opic will provide a US$1.5mn loan to a subsidiary of VG Enterprises of Waconia, Minnesota for the reopening of a meat processing facility in the village of Schapova, 22 miles south of Moscow.


The facility will produce smoked, cooked, and portion-controlled meats, primarily for sale to wholesale markets through distributors and for eventual sale to the hotel and restaurant trade in the Moscow area. The project will require staffing of the facility for producing, packaging, and shipping the meat products, as well as a Moscow office for coordinating sales and marketing.


The plant was first opened in 1994, and from 1994 to 1997 was considered a model project for the local meat industry. It was included in the Food Systems Re-structuring Program of the US Agency for International Development, serving as a training facility for meat technicians from the entire former Soviet Union.


In 2001, however, the plant was forced to close when the collective Schapova State Farm where the plant was located went into bankruptcy.