Atria is seeking to invest EUR130m in the site

Atria is seeking to invest EUR130m in the site

Finnish meat processor Atria is planning to invest in a domestic poultry plant to meet growing local demand for chicken products.

The company has earmarked EUR130m (US$142.6m) for the factory in the town of Nurmo, one of the sites that was the recipient of a separate investment last year to increase cutting capacity. This time around, the cash will be put to work to renovate existing manufacturing facilities and to add new ones, along with new poultry production lines.

Atria said it has to first apply for planning permission before it can move to the implementation stage but expects to complete the refurbishment by the end of 2024, "at the earliest". 

"Consumption of poultry meat has been growing strongly in Finland for several years," Atria explained in a statement. "Since the beginning of 2019, the consumption has increased by about 4 percent in value. This investment would strengthen Atria's position as a market leader in poultry products." 

Juha Gröhn, the chief executive of the Helsinki-listed business, said Atria will "initiate the project planning based on preliminary studies", and if it goes ahead, it will be the company's largest-ever investment. Two years ago, the company announced it was centralising pork production at the Nurmo plant from another facility further east in Jyvaskyla.

"We have a strong belief in Finnish food production and the fact that the Finnish meat industry will succeed in international competition, as long as we have courage to invest in it," Gröhn added in the statement.