Japanese visitors from Matsusaka Farms and their customers gained insight into the latest technology in hatcheries, farms and processing plants during a weeklong visit to Cobb facilities in Spain and the United Kingdom. Cobb-Vantress is broiler breeding company.

The visit began at the grandparent stock hatchery at Cobb Española, based in Dueñas in northern Spain, which was completely refurbished in 2012 and boasts the latest technology in hatch equipment and energy efficient systems.

"It's always a pleasure to have visitors from overseas. This provides a great opportunity to have open discussions and share knowledge on different practices," said Rafael Gil Jr., general manager of Cobb Española which hosted the visit.

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The group then travelled north to Leon, where they visited Oblanca, a customer of Cobb Española.  Brothers Oscar and Javier Oblanca, both involved in managing the family business, provided the group with a tour of their processing plant and a broiler farm.

In the United Kingdom, the visitors had a tour of Cobb Europe's new office in Colchester where they were given an overview of the current operations and heard about ongoing investment within the region to expand research and production facilities. Then the group visited one of Cobb Europe's United Kingdom customers Moy Park, where they saw a broiler farm and the company's processing plant at Anwick in Lincolnshire, one of the most advanced in Europe.

"Our customers were very impressed by the facilities shown to us by Cobb Europe and Cobb Española," said Iwao Osumi, president of Matsusaka Farms. "The biggest change I saw since my last visit to the United Kingdom and Spain over 20 years ago is the consolidation of companies within both markets. The demand for domestic chicken is also very high, which is something we would like to see grow in Japan."