How to open a red caviar business

* The calculations use the average data for the World

Red caviar is a popular delicacy, so there is always a demand for it. At present, in Russia there are some restrictions on trade with foreign countries, and in connection with this there is a development of the economy, including fish. More recently, a huge portion of caviar was supplied to this country from abroad, now the state is interested in increasing the production of red caviar in the country. Considering that Russia has everything necessary for growing salmon, an entrepreneur can open his own business, which has great prospects and promises considerable profits.

However, it should be noted right away that to start your business you will have to allocate a lot of money and in most cases have the necessary connections, because the production of red caviar is interesting for people in power, and therefore there can be some unofficial obstacles to this. There may be a high level of competition. The fact is that you can get natural red caviar at minimal cost only in some regions of the country. For example, salmon can be grown on the Pacific coast, areas of the Amur and Kamchatka rivers (pink salmon, sockeye salmon, chum salmon caviar) are singled out separately, but the main consumers of red caviar are residents of western Russia, and Pacific caviar comes to them at a very high price; Moreover, Russia does not have the necessary infrastructure and facilities for transporting caviar over such long distances. A certain amount of caviar can be produced in the Barents and Baltic Seas, however, these water areas are very dependent on foreign supplies of live fish (including fry) for breeding. We are talking, of course, about specially bred fish species, in Russia the economy of this direction, alas, is very behind in its development from the same Norwegian one. Finally, a small portion of caviar can be produced in the Caspian, but conditions are different there. From this we can understand that it is only worthwhile to engage in such a business in the indicated regions, with Pacific caviar mainly coming to the local market, north-western production is highly dependent on foreign supplies, and Caspian is not always profitable. It will not work to produce caviar in other regions, and in other regions, entrepreneurs are engaged in the production of protein - artificial - caviar. And in any region there will be many farms that produce caviar. On the other hand, this product is relatively rare, expensive, so the appearance of a new player, although it will affect the market, can be sold to everyone. That is, there are still chances to take their place, especially if the entrepreneur knows the right people and has studied the local market well.

In general, the red caviar production business in any case will have to be combined with fishing, because it is not economically feasible to create a nursery solely for caviar. In this regard, profit calculation is carried out not only for caviar, but also for meat, which is also very appreciated by salmonids. In this article, the process of organizing a hatchery will not be considered in detail, because it is discussed in more detail in a separate article, we note only the key points of organizing a nursery for salmonids. The farm is arranged on the banks of rivers and reservoirs where fish live, and their capture for caviar takes place only during spawning, or rather for some time before it begins, while the fish is full of caviar. In time, this more precisely depends in many respects on the type of fish and the region, but it is always autumn, and at this time it is most optimal to collect fish for meat. To preserve the natural balance and to obtain permission for their activities, special species of fish that are specially bred for the production of caviar and meat must be populated in a reservoir. A competent ichthyologist, preferably one who has already been involved in the production of caviar, can help. That is, a batch of fish of the salmon family is bought, suitable for breeding and launched into its large nursery with access to the rivers (that is, running water is needed). To avoid accusations of poaching in general, from the very beginning it is better to find a lawyer who will help in registration. Formally, there are no restrictions on the trade in red caviar in Russia. Thus, for breeding salmon, you need to contact the fish farms that sell either fish for breeding or fertilized caviar, from which you can get fry. The cost varies depending on the breed, on average an adult fish (one) costs about 300 rubles, caviar, of course, is cheaper, but buying it exclusively is very risky. Or you need to take in large quantities. At the same time, salmonids do not live in stagnant water, and for spawning they need access to the rivers, so the fishing industry needs to be equipped with the fact that the fish need access to open water.

To get started, you must register as a business entity. You can take shape as a peasant farm (peasant farm), which from a legal point of view is close to individual entrepreneurship. Large-scale enterprises with a large turnover are better registered as a limited liability company. Work will also require permits from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology, which includes the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources and the Federal Agency for Water Resources, and will also need to contact the Ministry of Agriculture for veterinary certificates. You will have to go through many procedures, providing samples of your products in the laboratory. Only after receiving all the necessary permissions it will be possible to trade red caviar without restrictions. But nevertheless, the help of a lawyer will come in handy both in the registration process and in the subsequent work.

Next, you need to equip the production room directly for caviar. Here it is necessary to build a separate workshop in which only caviar will be produced. And here you need to understand that if an entrepreneur wants to sell products at retail or wants to act as a finished plant, then he needs to buy in addition equipment for packing canned caviar in a special container. However, most farms simply prepare caviar, after which they sell the whole batch to a specialized plant, which is engaged in the industrial production of caviar, namely, packs it and sells it under its own name. For trade, you need to have a line for processing collected caviar, this includes machines such as a machine for punching salmon caviar, for washing caviar, for drying caviar and a container for salting. Additionally, if the farm plans to work with raw materials that have been frozen, then you need to buy a special defroster. Previously, a caviar extractor should be on the fish meat preparation line, which extracts the paws before sending the caught fish for processing. In general, many of the devices are present on a full-fledged fish processing line, so caviar usually arrives already washed and ready for further processing. Additionally, to preserve the caviar obtained, you need to purchase a pasteurizer and refrigeration equipment.

In general, the cost of equipment depends on factors such as performance and functionality, obsolete devices require some manual labor, the most modern machines are fully automated. In general, for the amount of about 5 million rubles, you can get a ready-made line for the processing of caviar, only you need to say that this amount is only for the possibility of obtaining caviar, additional investments will be required to organize your farm. Also, this amount is very averaged, because farms of different formats and different capacities require the provision of different equipment. There are small, in fact subsidiary farms such as a personal pond, which can be built inexpensively and relatively inexpensively maintained (only here you can’t talk about industrial production, the maximum is entrepreneurship based on a small local market).

A large fish processing plant will cost the entrepreneur several tens of millions of rubles, and this is only if you do not have to further refine the territory and prepare artificial ponds.

To implement red caviar, you can use several methods. The simplest is the local market, this is suitable for small producers who produce a little red caviar and can sell it exclusively in their region, and sometimes even within the village. In this case, the cost of one kilogram of caviar is significantly higher than in industrial production, but intermediaries are excluded in the process of selling products. The most common option is local production of relatively larger batches of products with subsequent sale to fish factories. Here, it is often enough just to rinse the caviar and transport it to the buyer, even an industrial enterprise will take care of canning. Well, finally, you can produce caviar under your own brand by opening your own factory, but this direction will require the investment of tens of millions (sometimes not even rubles), and you will need to deal not only with production, but also with the promotion of your products on the market. That is, the risks here are the greatest.

To work at your enterprise, you will need a lot of people, although more accurately the staffing is formed depending on the chosen method of work. In a small enterprise, it’s enough to hire people in the season for cutting fish, that is, people are needed here in order to carry out the work that is done in the factories by machines. Since fisheries are often located in rural areas, it is enough to find local people who are willing to work for relatively little money. For a medium-sized enterprise, you need to find operators for machines (1-2 people for each unit no more), and wages start from about 15 thousand rubles. We also need a technologist and production manager who monitor the condition of the workshop and the implementation of the necessary operations. The entrepreneur himself, if his farm is not too large and not too complicated, can perform the functions of managing several departments - distribute and search for new customers, perform administrative and organizational work. It is also important to find a good ichthyologist who will monitor the content of the fish, its health, find suppliers of good specimens for breeding, that is, fully deal with issues related to maintaining the fish nursery. Moreover, all these managers already receive at least 30 thousand rubles in the province, and sometimes much more; if specialists from large cities are involved, then wages can be 2 times higher. Saving on these people is not worth it, they can significantly reduce costs and optimize the production process. At the same time, all business processes that are not related to profit-making by the organization should be outsourced, this includes bookkeeping and tax advice. A lawyer who helps from the start also does not have to be a full-time employee.

The production of red caviar is absolutely unprofitable if it is organized exclusively for the caviar itself; selling meat and caviar allows you to make a profit. Moreover, many enterprises are ready to abandon the production of caviar directly, because it can only be obtained once a year (that is, a seasonal product), and for sale it is necessary to produce a lot of caviar during the year (which means investing a lot of money), and then store it in refrigeration equipment, which also entails additional costs. Many farms do not get their fish throwing a huge amount of caviar, preferring to feed fish for expensive meat.

In this regard, it is not worth considering the caviar production business separately from the farm dedicated to the cultivation of salmon for meat. Caviar becomes a source of additional income, but at the same time, with the competent organization of the business, it is very significant. Depending on the climatic conditions and species, one female fish can produce about a kilogram of caviar; the wholesale cost of this product for the same volume starts from 2 thousand rubles. At the same time, you need to understand that red caviar is a group of products that are obtained from different species of fish, and they all differ in value. However, the most significant drawback of such a business is its seasonality, because you can only make profit from your farm once a year, the rest of the time selling meat.

Matthias Laudanum

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08/18/2019

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