Cargill on September 23 held the inauguration ceremony of its world-class integrated poultry operation in Lai'an, Anhui, China. Gary Locke, ambassador of the United States of America to China; Chris Langholz, president of Cargill Animal Protein China; Stan Ryan, corporate vice president of Cargill; and representatives from Chinese government agencies participated in the ceremony.

The fully-integrated project covers each stage of the poultry supply chain, including chicken breeding, raising, feed production, hatching, slaughtering and processing. Cargill incorporated its state-of-the-art technologies and innovations in food safety, poultry breeding, animal nutrition, disease prevention, environmental protection and energy saving into the project. The facility has the capacity to process approximately 65 million chickens per year, as well as 176,000 metric tons poultry products per year. Total investment for the project is approximately $250 million.

The project, initiated in 2009, is a part of Cargill's effort to support the modernization of agriculture and food safety in China. In this project, Cargill utilized its global expertise to build an integrated supply chain and food safety management system.

Cargill also will apply environmental and energy efficiency management systems that meet all applicable environment regulations in waste water treatment, waste disposal and emission control.

"Cargill's investment here in Anhui Province is a shining example of how U.S.-China agricultural cooperation can help China ensure that its people have a safe and reliable source of poultry, while simultaneously strengthening our bilateral economic and agricultural ties," said Locke. "I firmly believe that when our two countries are able to deepen our commercial partnerships, we can bring positive, long-term benefits to the consumers of both our countries."

Langholz said Cargill is committed to being a valuable partner with the local poultry industry. "We will utilize our global safety standards in food, employee safety and environmental management in China at the same levels we operate our business anywhere else in the world," he said. "We believe that applying our global expertise to local circumstances will help the industry and provide more confidence for Chinese consumers. We wish to thrive together with China and help ensure the sustainable growth of China's poultry industry."

The project will provide employment to around 4,000 people in the coming few years, which will boost farmer incomes. During the past two years, Cargill has already donated two Cargill Cares Libraries and a water purification system to local Anhui schools. Cargill also has established Cargill classes to train local citizens in modern farming and agricultural management systems in three universities in Anhui province.