Own business: we open “crayfish” (crayfish sale)

* The calculations use the average data for the World

The business of selling live and boiled crawfish cannot be called simple. Firstly, the product itself has a certain specificity - from the catch of crayfish and related restrictions and conditions to the transportation of finished products to the client. Secondly, such a business is far from suitable for all regions of our country (which is due to objective reasons - the presence of reservoirs suitable for crayfish). Nevertheless, this direction is considered promising and profitable. The domestic market for crayfish has been actively developing over the past few years. Artificial reproduction of crayfish is gaining increasing popularity. And the trade in these products is gradually taking on a civilized character. Now crayfish can be bought not only on highways or in bazaars. Manufacturers began to supply their products in the form of boiled-frozen raw materials or canned products to chain stores. Separate establishments that specialize in the sale of these products are also opening. Every year, the volume of industrial catch of crayfish is growing steadily, however, as is the number of players in the market.

Crayfish catch: important nuances

The main obstacles to the development of the "cancer business" are poaching catches, which inevitably lead to a reduction in the number of cancers, and ... government quotas. As you know, crayfish live in freshwater bodies of water. Cancer is legally limited in time. In federal reservoirs, official capture occurs generally within three months: from July 15 to August 15 and from September 15 to November 30. Crayfish mining ends with the appearance of the first ice, when the broad-toed hiding in holes for wintering. In spring and early summer, crayfish molt and spawn, so during this period, the capture of cancer is prohibited. With a limited “cancerous” season, enterprises still need to have time to obtain a fishing permit. Therefore, most often capture begins in late July or even later if the molting of the crayfish is delayed. So in practice, the season is even shorter.

The order of catching crayfish is determined by the Fishing Rules - this is a document establishing the conditions for fishing for lovers and their industrial production. Typically, these rules are developed in the form of general (model) provisions for the whole country. And then, on their basis, in each region, its own Rules are issued (for example, the Fishing Rules for the Azov-Black Sea Fisheries Basin), which clarify some common positions: specify the places of permitted fishing, establish exact terms of fishing prohibitions, fishing catch limits fish, tackle, etc. Compliance with the rules of commercial fishing or amateur, sports is aimed at the rational use of fish stock in reservoirs, creating conditions for their trouble-free reproduction va. Any deviation from them is considered a violation, poaching and prosecuted by law. The rules even govern the size of the crayfish implements. So, for example, the size of the cells of the raking network should be at least 22 mm, and its diameter - not more than 80 cm. For those engaged in industrial fishing, the number of raking is not limited, but lovers have to be content with a maximum of three.

Of particular note is the issue of quotas. The fact is that in order to maintain the population of crayfish every year for each region, the allowable catch rate is calculated. Based on this norm, quotas are allocated. Over the past few years, quotas have been constantly increasing, which experts explain as favorable conditions for population growth. The threat to the cancer population arose in the 70s of the last century, when the plague of the ranch passed through Europe and Russia - a fungal disease. Most of the livestock at that time became extinct. Only in the last ten years has their population begun to recover. This is facilitated by the cleansing of water bodies and a greater amount of organic feed in reservoirs. Poaching catches also negatively affect the number of crustaceans. Although quotas are regularly raised, they are clearly not enough to meet existing demand. For example, the total quota in the Rostov region was only 20 tons a few years ago. And this despite the fact that the volume of cancer consumption in the central city of the region alone, Rostov-on-Don, was then 200 tons of crayfish per year!

Several entities are involved in environmental management and environmental protection, which includes the illegal catch of crayfish. This is the department of Rosprirodnadzor, Rosrybolovstvo, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the department of hunting and fishing, and others. The spheres of their activities are delimited. For example, the department deals with the organization and regulation of fisheries, distributes quotas for the extraction of aquatic biological resources, and protects inland water bodies. The authority for state control and supervision of compliance with federal legislation in the field of fisheries and the conservation of aquatic biological resources in the region is vested in the territorial departments of the Federal Agency for Fishery.

The size of industrial catch varies depending on the region and the year. Over the past few years, it amounts to several tens of tons. Violation of the rules for catching crayfish, according to the Administrative Code, is punishable by fines. The minimum fine for violating the Fishing Rules is 2000 rubles. Also, poachers caught red-handed will have to compensate for the damage. Compensation is 42 rubles per individual, regardless of its size. For each female with caviar, the penalty doubles. If the cancer was released back into the body of water alive with a minimum of damage, no damage is claimed.

The catch rate for crayfish is not more than thirty pieces per person per day (this does not apply to cases of catching crayfish on an industrial scale with a license). In this case, the permissible length of individuals is not less than nine centimeters. The length of the body from the end of the tail plates to the line that connects the middle of the eyes is taken into account.

Officials argue that increasing quotas for representatives of "cancer-producing" enterprises will gradually shift the market into a "civilized channel." According to them, poaching products without all the necessary documents will not have such a demand among consumers as high-quality and legally caught crayfish. True, so far, unfortunately, these positive trends are not so obvious, experts admit. Although a lot of time has passed since the introduction of quotas.

Pitfalls of the Crayfish Business

However, the difficulties of the "cancer business" are associated not only with restrictions on the extraction of crayfish. The catch still needs to be transported and stored until implementation. At the same time, at temperatures from 15 degrees Celsius, the cancers lined with ice live no more than a couple of hours. Therefore, manufacturers use expensive foreign-made refrigerators to transport crayfish. Crayfish are transported at a temperature of 5-6 degrees. Then they are washed in the pool from dirt and sorted by aquariums. In this case, the "shelf life" of live cancer is increased to two weeks.

The sale of crayfish is also a difficult process, especially for small businesses. The cost of renting a retail space and equipment is constantly growing, and the prices for crayfish have to be kept at about the same level. Entrepreneurs are trying to sell perishable products as soon as possible, while illegal sellers selling crayfish in the markets and in the sleeping areas of the city are trying to lure buyers at the expense of low prices.

The sale of cancers caught on an industrial scale through retail chains seems to be the best choice for businessmen. But only at first glance. It is much more difficult to work with chain supermarkets than with small stores, cancer suppliers admit. In large stores, storage conditions are often violated. A "capricious" product requires the installation of special equipment - aquariums with compressors for oxygen supply. This is associated with additional, sometimes very high costs. And getting money for goods sold is not easy: networks often delay payments to suppliers for a couple of months.

It’s easier to work with individual small shops. But crayfish is still not the most familiar product that people expect to see in stores (especially in the format of a “convenience store”). Most buyers prefer to buy them in the markets, although street trading in crayfish is officially banned.

Recently, the so-called "crayfish" appeared in large cities. The format of these establishments is similar to pizzerias or barbecue, where you can order dishes in advance and pick them up yourself or arrange home delivery. The only difference is in the assortment - in crayfish they sell only crayfish - live and freshly cooked. This option for the sale of crayfish requires additional investments - the cost of renting space, buying equipment for storage and preparation of products, salaries for cooks, couriers, and operators. But at the same time it is more convenient and seems to be more profitable than crayfish trading through third-party stores.

Making the necessary documentation is another big problem of bona fide entrepreneurs. As a rule, the scheme of their work is as follows: a legal entity concludes contracts with fishermen who supply it with crayfish. Moreover, for each of their “suppliers” they must submit a certain set of documents to the fish inspection, the regional intersectoral inspection, the committee of statistics and the ministry of agriculture twice a month. In addition, they have to report monthly on their activities and tax service. For an overdue report, an official is fined 15 thousand rubles. Do not forget that there can be more than a dozen suppliers, if we are talking about a large city. So that only the design and timely submission of reports will take a lot of time and effort. This will require a separate person who will conduct accounting.

As for the necessary documents for the sold cancers, it is necessary to have veterinary certificates for live cancers, which indicate the place of their catch, the ecological situation in the catch area and a note is made that there are no diseases in the cancers. Obligatory certification of cancers is canceled. Crayfish are cooked in accordance with the technical conditions, which also issued a declaration of conformity.

“Cancer business” at a new level

In order to make the cancer business profitable, it should be legalized, consider the major players in this market. Indeed, the consumer is accustomed to buying crayfish “with his hands” - on the highway or at the bazaar, although he knows that he is risking his money and health in this case. Cheating with the weight of crayfish is a common occurrence in this trading format. The body kit can be up to 300 grams per kilogram, and this is still not the worst option. Worse, when unscrupulous merchants mix living crayfish with non-living or sell "asleep", that is, dead crayfish. According to the rules, the crayfish are delivered alive to the place of sale. At the same time, they are placed in boxes with their abdomens down in regular rows, laying rows in hay, straw or other dry (and this is important!) Packaging material. Each batch of cancers that goes on sale is subject to mandatory veterinary control. If after it is planned to export crayfish outside the region, it is mandatory that you have a veterinary certificate for the batch. If it is planned to sell crayfish here - in the city, then a veterinary certificate is enough. These documents indicate the number of cancers in the consignment, packaging material, date and place of catch, destination and ecological well-being of the area where the cancers were obtained, for infectious and contagious diseases. The most dangerous cancers include crustacean plague and burn (spotted) disease. The causative agent of the plague is a fungus, which, getting on the damaged integument of cancer, penetrates the tissues and begins to develop there, causing the death of the animal. A sick individual has impaired coordination, loses protective reflexes, and characteristic yellow spots form on its carapace. In case of a burn disease, the carapace of the cancer becomes covered with dark spots with a diameter of 10-30 mm, sometimes with a reddish border. Sick individuals must be destroyed in compliance with all requirements.

In order to attract customers, “civilized sellers” of crayfish pay special attention to the quality of their products. For obvious reasons, its cost is higher than the cost of cancers sold by private traders. After all, the latter do not have to pay for rent, advertising, paperwork, etc. And they are not spent on salaries either. Therefore, in order to justify a higher price, entrepreneurs need to focus on the guaranteed high quality of service and products. With the latter, everything is more or less clear: the availability of the necessary documentation, special equipment and constant monitoring - all this allows conscientious companies to stay afloat.

Most of them sell live crayfish. The fact is that it is impossible to sell boiled crayfish outside of catering establishments or enterprises that specialize in their production. Meanwhile, customers who order expensive, albeit large and guaranteed fresh crayfish, often do not want to waste time preparing them, preferring to get a dish ready to eat. Boiled crayfish are perishable foods. According to sanitary standards, their shelf life does not exceed 12 hours at a temperature of no more than six degrees. You can increase the shelf life of crayfish by immediately freezing the crayfish after cooking. But frozen crayfish is not in great demand. Yes, and the cost of its production is increasing at times - this will require special freezing equipment, which is very expensive. Entrepreneurs also say that they do not have an overabundance of raw materials that could be allowed to freeze. Therefore, despite the fact that, in general, experts consider the direction for the production of frozen crayfish interesting, it still has not been developed in our country. In regions where crayfish are caught, people will always prefer fresh raw materials. But frozen delicacies can be delivered without much hassle to the most remote corners of Russia, where they will be in demand. Now crayfish are sold mainly to Moscow, St. Petersburg, the Trans-Urals and in the central zone of Russia. But the option of importing frosts to other countries also deserves attention. For most Europeans, crayfish is an unusual delicacy and exotic product. Emigrants from Russia also have a demand for crayfish, who are nostalgic for the “taste of the motherland”.

However, there are opponents of the idea of ​​freezing crayfish for “prolonged” storage. Experts are sure that the frozen boiled crayfish tastes very different from the "freshly boiled" ones. Their taste and meat quality are much worse than the latter. So far, the production of frozen crayfish remains only another idea for business that has not yet been fully implemented in our country.

If you plan to cook crayfish and pack them as a separate product for sale outside the catering, then it will be necessary to develop technical conditions for which a declaration of conformity is also issued. For activities on the production of such products, it will be necessary to obtain a sanitary and epidemiological conclusion.

Another significant drawback of this type of business is its seasonality. And this factor is associated not only with a limited period of catching crayfish - when they do not feed, do not molt and do not spawn. Seasonality is also observed on the demand side. It is during the summer holidays that open cafes work, the menu of which includes crayfish. Demand for these products increases significantly during football matches, when fans stock up on low-alcoholic foamy drinks, traditionally consumed “with crayfish” (or vice versa, which is not important). Therefore, entrepreneurs during this limited time (3-4 months) should be able to establish uninterrupted supplies of crayfish to individual stores and cafes. Wholesale sales of crayfish would be the best solution, but the domestic demand for these products is not very large. Basically, crayfish are delivered in bulk to the northern regions, to the central part of Russia, to the Chernozem region and to the Krasnodar Territory (coastal zone). In the summer, prices for crayfish steadily increase, and by the fall, when the catch is especially large, fall. In the summer season, the cost of crayfish is from 500-600 rubles per kilogram, and in the fall it often drops almost to the purchase price (from 200-300 rubles per kilogram). Тем не менее, при организации продажи раков через «рачечные» эти ценовые колебания практически нивелируются. В таких сетях по регионам стоимость рака первой категории среднего размера (около 20-22 штук на килограмм) составляет 850-900 рублей за килограмм, среднекрупного рака второй категории (12-14 штук в килограмме) – 1000 рублей за килограмм, а отборного рака (менее 10 штук на килограмм) – от 1200 рублей за килограмм. В Москве мелкий рак (до 40 грамм) продается по цене 800 рублей за килограмм, средний (40-70 грамм) – по 1200 рублей за килограмм, крупный (70-100 грамм) – 1500 р./кг и отборный (от 100 грамм) – 2000 р./кг. Как признаются сами бизнесмены, выживать их предприятия могут только при таких, не самых низких ценах.

С сезонностью отлова раков все понятно. Но где брать продукцию вне сезона, когда отлов раков в естественных водоемах находится под запретом? Здесь на помощь приходят частные хозяйства, деятельность которых столь строго не регламентируется законом. Выращивать раков в искусственных прудах – дело долгое и сложное. Поэтому таких хозяйств не так уж и много. И стоит их продукция намного дороже раков, выросших в «естественной среде». Прибавьте к этому расходы на доставку (зачастую раков приходится везти из других областей и регионов). Неудивительно, что в розницу цены на раков вполне могут сравниться со стоимостью качественного шашлыка (и это с учетом «чистого» веса последнего продукта).

Итак, бизнес, связанный с выловом и реализацией раков, безусловно, интересен и вполне может оказаться прибыльным. Но в нем присутствует большое количество подводных камней. Тем не менее, некоторые наиболее дальновидные предприниматели все же присматриваются к этому рынку и ищут новые форматы работы. Для того чтобы это начинание стало успешным, необходимо хорошо разбираться в… маркетинге. Лет десять назад и эксперты, и чиновники были уверены, что этот рынок бесперспективен для малого бизнеса. Они отмечали явные тенденции укрупнения рынка, объясняя это тем, что малые фирмы не могут провести достоверное маркетинговое исследование, определить верно места и объемы поставок, организовать хранение продукции, соблюсти все условия и требования, которые к ней предъявляются. Между тем, время показало, что все же как раз мелкие и средние предприятия оказались достаточно живучими, несмотря на все сложности в этой отрасли. Появляются новые форматы работы (те же сети «рачечных»), разрабатываются новые технологии, которые позволяют обеспечить сохранность продукции при транспортировке и хранении. Аквариумы с живыми раками, устанавливаемые в супер- и гипермаркетах, «не пошли», но производители не отчаялись и искали новые варианты для сбыта. В целом, предприниматели, задействованные в «раковом» бизнесе, настроены оптимистично. Лучше всего дело идет в тех регионах, где раки относятся к традиционной местной кухне. С другой стороны, открываются перспективы для «покорения» отдаленных районов, жители которых пока еще недостаточно хорошо знакомы с этим деликатесом.

Достаточно сложно оценить расходы, которые потребуются на открытие этого бизнеса. Все зависит от выбранного формата работы и масштабов. В 2010 году затраты на организацию небольшой точки продажи раков в одном городе оценивались экспертами в 700 тысяч рублей. Сейчас для открытия такого дела потребуется стартовый капитал не менее 1, 5 миллионов рублей, говорят предприниматели. Сильно подорожало необходимое оборудование и ощутимо увеличились транспортные расходы. Сроки окупаемости, соответственно, также невозможно определить точно при столь разнящихся вводных данных. По словам владельца такого бизнеса, вполне возможно окупить торговую точку за два-три года (при условии ее работы в течение круглого года). Но рассчитывать на ощутимую прибыль стоит лишь в том случае, если открывать сразу несколько точек в разных районах города (преимущественно спальных).

Sysoeva Lilia

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