To boost its supply of dressed and marinated chicken, Philippines-based fast-food group, Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC), has joined forces with Cargill to build and operate a poultry processing plant in Batangas on the island of Luzon.

JFC has reported to the Philippine Stock Exchange that it has entered into an agreement with Cargill Philippines Inc. to create Cargill Joy Poultry Meats Production Inc. (CJPMPI) in Sto. Tomas, Batangas.

Cargill will hold a 70 percent stake in the venture while JFC will own the rest as well as a 30 percent share in the realty firm from which CJPMPI will lease the land for the plant. Total value of the investment is around US$17.7 million, comprising PHP571.5 million (US$12.2 million) from Cargill and PHP244.9 million (US$5.3 million) from JFC for the plant, and a further PHP15.2 million (US$325,000) from JFC for the realty business.

Benefits claimed of the new plant for the local area include around 1,000 full-time jobs and new opportunities for poultry farmers in the region to produce chicken to supply the factory.

“We partnered with Cargill to deliver high quality chicken products through Cargill’s technology and quality standards,” said JFC chief executive officer, Ernesto Tanmantiong. “The facility will provide JFC with dressed and marinated chicken to augment the chicken supply requirements of the growing needs of JFC brands.

“This partnership will meaningfully benefit our customers, our operations as well as the overall Philippine food industry. We will continue to maintain our strong relationship with key chicken suppliers in the country and look forward to sustained long term supply arrangements with them as our businesses grow together,” Tanmantiong added.

JFC experiencing financial success

In its last quarterly report published this month, JFC posted a 17.7 percent increase in earnings for the first quarter of the year. Philstar reports that sales were 14.8 percent higher at PHP34.3 million (US$732,000) following “robust sales” at company-owned and franchised stores, both locally and abroad. As of the end of March, JFC had 2,493 restaurant outlets in the Philippines and a further 650 outlets in other countries.

A recent report in The Standard describes JFC as “the largest food service company in Asia.” The company had announced plans to roll out 200 new stores in the Philippines this year as well as three new facilities and two distribution centers in Luzon and expansion of its facility at Canlubang in Laguna province.

Last year, Cargill was reported to be planning to invest US$200 million in feed manufacturing and chicken-growing operations in the Philippines.