Midwest Porcine Recovery reaches out to South Korea

By Sue Colden

Glencoe may seem far removed from South Korea, but through the efforts of Dave Theis, president of Midwest Porcine Recovery, the Glencoe company is poised to enter the South Korean market.

Midwest Research Swine, founded in 1986, built and opened a plant – Midwest Porcine Recovery – in Glencoe in 2010. The company specializes in the collection of porcine tissue for the biomedical and medical device industries.

The swine that the company uses are raised according to very rigorous standards to ensure the tissue is free of pathogens. Because of the high degree of control of herd health, Theis said the company also has high-quality pork to market.

Theis contacted Paul Sand, former Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s senior marketing specialist from the University of Minnesota. Sand connected Theis with a local shipper in Plymouth, Ron Braatz. Braatz is an import/export manager for Olympic International. His company specializes in the frozen food commodity trading business.

When Braatz met with Theis, they focused on how they could develop new markets for the pork after the medical tissue is harvested. Braatz brought into the team Chin Hong “Peter” Park, the managing director of Ranieri in South Korea. Ranieri specializes in the import and distribution of organic and natural products to South Korea.

Park said he has been coming to America for years and for the last 12 years has been a business associate with Braatz buying pork.

Braatz thought he and Park could help develop market opportunities in South Korea for the Midwest Porcine’s pork products.

As Park was touring the Midwest Porcine Recovery recently, he was looking at the quality standards of the process and of the product. Park emphasized that the Korean market was interested in “very fresh” pork products.

Theis explained the butchering and packing processes. The group discussed the cuts of pork desired, the harvesting, cutting, the Kry-vac packing of the meat. The men even had to determine the correct boxes for the Korean market.

Braatz provided input regarding the logistics of the shipping process. Midwest Porcine Recovery wants to ship a container that contains 250 cut out hog carcasses per week to South Korea.



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