Cargill will be implementing a phased investment plan to focus the business on the retail sector and key partners in food service. Over the next 24 to 36 months, Cargill plans to invest £35 million (US$56.1 million) to improve efficiencies, upgrade technologies and create a state-of-the-art processing facility in Hereford. These investments will also enable Cargill to expand its capacity to process and supply fresh UK-reared chicken.
Pilar Cruz, managing director for Cargill Meats Europe, explains the importance of these plans and refocusing the priorities of the business, "This is an exciting time for the poultry industry and as demand for fresh chicken grown in the UK continues to rise amongst retailers and consumers, we aim to position ourselves to better support this. This investment will position Cargill for future growth and strengthen our relationship with key strategic customers in the UK."
Cargill has already introduced controlled-atmosphere stunning and upgraded the bird reception facilities in Hereford. The next phase is to expand Cargill's chilling capabilities and hatchery in order to position the company for future growth.
Whilst these projects are underway, Cargill will be working with local UK chicken farmers to look at how to continue to build a sustainable and long term chicken supply chain while increasing the number of home grown chickens available to the UK market.
"Cargill's investment plans will not only help us support our customers but also local farmers and the industry as a whole. We are committed to working together with our farmers, customers, suppliers and communities to help the UK poultry industry to thrive and to leverage our broad global knowledge, ethics and values to build a strong sustainable growth business in the UK," Cruz added.
Once the investment plans are complete, Cargill expects to be operating one of the most efficient and competitive poultry processing plants in Europe.