A combination of GEA technology and expertise have been key factors in helping long-term customer the Master Good Group to embrace automation and achieve its sustainability targets, as well as meet the growing demand from retailers for its chicken products and ready meals.
The Hungary-based fourth-generation family-run poultry business, which dates back 115 years, has gone from strength to strength since Master Good was started in 1994 and now employs 2,800 people. The group’s factories are among the most efficient of their kind in the world and put much of its spectacular growth down to GEA’s manufacturing solutions.
Zero carbon – the target
Believing in the farm to fork ethos Master Good is fully vertically integrated, raising chickens and growing crops for the production line. Overall, the company breeds 25 million chicks per year, process 100 thousand tonnes of animal feed (cereals mostly for bird stock). In terms of land, they have 5,500 hectares of land for cereal and grain production and 100,000 m2 of accommodation for the broiler hens.
Keeping sustainability front of mind, Master Good is working towards zero carbon by 2030, ably assisted by GEA making the productions lines as efficient as possible. Already, 20% of the company’s power is solar generated, and the waste from the butchery is used to make pet food. Automation is gradually increasing across the company’s different lines, driving their capacity upwards, downtime downwards and creating numerous opportunities for new product development. GEA is involved in all of this, supporting and working with Master Good to find the right solutions, and helping it to overcome the challenges.
Going with the Batch2Flow cuts costs and reduces waste
This includes the GEA Batch2Flow system ensuring that product quality is stabilised as it moves through the production process in the factory. Batch2Flow is a hygienic process designed to save energy and water, significantly reducing the use of cleaning chemicals. It maintains the product within set parameters such as temperature, viscosity and blend ensuring it is at its best quality when it reaches the next stage.
Batch2Flow moves the mix seamlessly and rapidly along a conveyor system from the mixers straight into the former with special unloading steps to allow controlled portion delivery onto the conveyor. No energy-consuming cold stores are needed, food waste is avoided, cleaning costs are significantly reduced. There is full traceability as nothing is removed from the line.
Meeting the challenges head on
László Bárány, who, with his brother Peter runs Master Good, says its strategy is to focus on quality over quantity and to be as efficient as possible: “When challenges come, those who are the most efficient have least to fear. The company needs to increase automation both to smooth operations and ensure better products.”
The Master Good production lines are almost exclusively GEA, which is reflected in the quality of the output and the company’s flexibility to develop new and better products, using the same lines for different meats, shapes, flavours and sizes. Master Good Managing Director, Peter, adds: “GEA gives us more flexibility and the potential to launch new products that improve our market share, give us more sales and, hopefully, more profit. This is what state-of-the-art means to us.”
The relationship between GEA and Master Good is not only about technology. Cooperation plays a big part. “GEA not only makes great machines, it also brings us solutions for our challenges,” explains László. Peter agreed: “If you choose professional partners, they always take you forwards by showing different ways of doing things.” So too when it comes to sustainability. GEA has developed systems that use less power and can work with mono materials that can be recycled easily. Peter says that these advances are helping them reduce plastic usage and, perhaps in the long term, eliminate it completely. “If we always use the best technology, I think it will come.”
Customers like what they see
State-of-the-art solutions from GEA – the Hungarian plant also uses GEA spiral freezers with Callifreeze – have provided Master Good with the precision and accuracy to increase their efficiencies whilst maintaining the overall quality of the product. László Bárány concluded: “Our customers are fascinated by what they see here, they really like the opportunities that such a precise line can offer.”