Cargill is expanding its protein production capacity in Chuzhou, Anhui, in China with an investment of $48.8 million in a production plant to provide new products to customers and consumers.
This is the second facility Cargill has built in the region. The first facility opened in 2013 and has the capacity to process approximately 65 million chickens as well as 176,000 metric tons of poultry products per year. The newest facility is equipped with two fully cooked protein production lines that will be able to produce 32,000 tons chicken and other protein products every year.
Through globally advanced production equipment and technology, Cargill said the new facility will also increase the production speed by as much as 30%, enabling Cargill’s protein business to better meet the needs of domestic customers. Simultaneously, it will have the ability to export cooked protein to global customers. It will also benefit the region’s farmers as well as help grow the local economy by bringing 600 new jobs to the area.
Wenping Yang, mayor of Lai’an County of Chuzhou City in China, said Cargill Animal Protein China is currently the largest agricultural enterprise in Lai’an. The company has brought plentiful employment and helped build and improve the local systems of animal welfare and food safety, he added.
“Chuzhou possesses abundant natural resources, unique location for convenient transport and great potential for economic growth. Cargill contributes much in terms of employment and financial investment in the local community. The contribution is significant to agricultural structure, economic development and community prosperity,” Xiang’an Zhang, secretary of the Chuzhou Municipal Party Committee, said following the plant's opening ceremony and after a meeting with Marcel Smits, chairman of Cargill Asia Pacific and head of corporate strategy, and Jackson Chan, managing director of Cargill Animal Protein China. “We welcome enterprises like Cargill to continue their investment and business development to grow together with Chuzhou, and we wish a better development for Cargill in Chuzhou.”
Cargill’s integrated poultry production facility in Chuzhou covers every stage of the poultry supply chain, including chicken breeding and raising, feed production, hatching, primary production and further production. With this integrated supply chain, Cargill has full control over food quality and safety. Any product from the facility can be traced back at any point in the production process within two hours.
“Cargill is a friend of China, and we are committed to developing the Chinese economy and the economies of local communities. This new investment will help Chuzhou and local farmers prosper as they work with us to deliver protein to tables of the world,” Smits said. “Our commitment to China is demonstrated not only through our 40-year presence but also by Cargill’s business announcements this year, including the opening of a Cargill Beauty APAC Lab in Shanghai, a Yichun animal nutrition plant, the corn production facility in Songyuan and, now, Chuzhou.”
As living standards have improved and eating habits have evolved, diet composition in China is changing quickly. Protein consumption is growing rapidly. In China, chicken consumption has maintained long-term and stable growth. Data from the Statistics Bureau showed that the annual per capita consumption of poultry in China’s cities increased from 1.0 kg in 1978 to 9.7 kg in 2017. Currently, chicken is the second most-consumed meat in China, accounting for 15% of total meat production and with huge potential for growth.
“Our protein business is critical to Chinese customers and consumers, as China has the largest protein market in the world,” Chan said. “With this expansion, Cargill will be able to offer more unique and differentiated culinary options, menu solutions and innovative new products to our customers and consumers.”