US-based agribusiness and food giant Cargill is to invest US$50m to expand poultry processing operations at its facility in Thailand’s Nakhon Ratchasima province, the company announced today (24 November). 

Construction started on a new building annexed to the current facility last month and is expected to start operating in the first quarter of 2018, Cargill said.

The company said it will engage several independent smallholder broiler farms in the local community to meet the increased demand for broiler chicken. The expansion will create 1,400 new jobs and add to the more than 13,500 employees Cargill has across 14 sites in the country, the company said.

Hans Kabat, president of Cargill Protein Southeast Asia, said: “Cargill has been in the Thai poultry industry for 25 years and has grown to become the leading exporter of fully-cooked chicken products in the country. I attribute this to our uncompromising approach to food innovation, quality and safety, a talented and efficient local workforce working in a strictly safe environment, and a close partnership with the Thai authorities.”

In May, Cargill formed a joint venture with Asian foodservice company Jollibee Foods to establish a poultry processing facility in the Philippines.

In September, Cargill launched a joint venture with agrifood business Japfa to produce and supply fully-cooked poultry products in Indonesia.