Finnish poultry company Atria is investing about EUR155 million (US$181 million) to construct a new poultry processing plant on its existing site in Nurmo.

The investment includes new slaughtering, cutting and packaging lines, and will increase Atria’s poultry production capacity by approximately 40%.

Poultry consumption has been increasing rapidly in Finland for several years. The growth was almost 4% per year between 2010 and 2019. Poultry production and consumption have almost doubled globally over the past 15 years, and Kantar TNS's meat consumption barometer forecasts that consumption will continue to increase rapidly in Finland. The consumption of both poultry and processed meats and convenience food that contain poultry is forecast to increase over the next few years.

The new processing plant will help the company to meet growing consumer demand, and it will strengthen Atria's position as market leader for poultry products in Finland. The new plant and increased capacity will enable Atria to increase its exports of poultry products. The investment will enable the development of a product portfolio for further processed products.

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"The planning phase of the construction project and the application processes for the necessary official permits began about a year ago. The poultry production facilities in Nurmo need to be modernized, and we need to increase our capacity to be able to better meet future consumer demand. In order to strengthen our position as the number one poultry producer in Finland, we decided to make the largest single investment in our company's history," explained Atria CEO Juha Gröhn.

"One of Atria's competitive advantages is 100% antibiotic-free poultry, which is valued by consumers. Using Finnish chicken is a matter of honor for us, and the labeling on the majority of our poultry products shows the origin of the chicken all the way to the farm. Our new technology will allow for this type of labeling to be used on more products. The new production technology will be more environmentally friendly. We will be able to reduce food waste caused by the production process. The new technology will also significantly reduce energy and water consumption, and it will allow us to improve health and safety in the workplace."

The new processing plant will help the company to meet growing consumer demand, and it will strengthen Atria's position as market leader for poultry products. Construction work at the site of the new plant will begin as soon as possible with an estimated completion date of 2024 at the earliest.