US meat giant Tyson Foods today (1 February) announced plans to expand its poultry business in China through a joint venture with a local company.

The Jiangsu Jinghai Poultry Industry Group will raise and process chicken under the Tyson brand for sale to consumers in eastern China.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but Tyson officials have confirmed the company will own a 70% share in the business.

“Demand for high quality, fresh chicken in China is growing faster than the existing domestic supply,” said director, Richard Bond. “We intend to help meet this need by becoming the first producer to deliver brand-name, high-quality fresh chicken to consumers in the eastern China market.”

A fully-integrated poultry operation will be built in Haiman City in the Jiangsu Province near Shanghai called Jiangsu Tyson Foods. Work is expected to begin in 2009.

Tysons also elected ten members to its board of directors, a line-up announced at the company’s AGM today.