Pilgrim’s will invest in improvements at several of its plants, as well as a new feed mill in Arkansas. Bill Lovette, CEO of Pilgrim’s, outlined those plans on February 11 during a quarterly earnings call with shareholders.
Lovette said there has been a great demand in the foodservice sector for its Pierce chicken brand products, and the company is making investments to help the company better meet the demand.
“During Q4 2015 and throughout 2016, we’ve initiated a targeted capital spending plan to further enhance growth of the key customers of our own Pierce brand chicken,” said Lovette.
Once the projects are completed, the company hopes to add 150 employees to support the growth.
Improvements planned at West Virginia plant
Work has begun on adding a fully cooked chicken line at Pilgrim’s prepared foods plant in Moorefield, West Virginia. In addition, the company is enhancing other lines at the plant.
Lovette said the company plans to spend about $25 million on the project, which he expects to be completed by the end of 2016.
Investment in Kentucky complex
Pilgrim’s will invest $20 million at its complex in Mayfield, Kentucky.
The company intends to “transform the facility towards an improved mix of value-added products to meet the growing demands of a key customer,” Lovette said.
Engineering work for the project has begun, Lovette said. He expects the transformation to be completed before the end of the year.
Future Arkansas feed mill
Pilgrim’s has acquired property in Nashville, Arkansas, which will be the site of a future feed mill.
The mill will be used to produce feed for the company’s operations in nearby DeQueen, Arkansas. According to Lovette, the new mill will help the company lower its feed costs while improving feed conversion and live performance.
Pilgrim’s plans to invest $35 million in the feed mill project.