Tyson Foods is to set up a new manufacturing site for poultry products in the US.

The US company said the plant, to be located in Virginia, would help the business meet growing demand for protein.

Noelle O’Mara, the president of Tyson’s prepared-foods division, is “uniquely positioned as a category leader to meet that growing demand”. She added: “Our continued focus on consumer-driven innovation will accelerate this momentum.”

Two weeks ago, Tyson announced financial results for the third quarter of its financial year. The company said sales volumes of its chicken products were up, boosted by increased demand from foodservice customers and lower production inefficiencies the business had endured a year earlier during the early months of the pandemic.

Chicken sales volumes were down in the first nine months of Tyson’s fiscal year due to the impact Covid-19 had had on production, disruption from weather and a “challenging labour environment”. Tyson, however, did note there had been higher demand for its chicken products during the period.

Average sales prices rose over both time periods due to a “favourable sales mix and inflationary market conditions”.

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By GlobalData

Tyson’s new project in Virginia, where it already has two plants, will see it build a 325,000-square-foot facility in Danville. The new site, which is scheduled to start production in the spring of 2023, will be mainly used to make fully-cooked Tyson-branded chicken products. By the time production starts, the project is expected to have created nearly 400 jobs.

Last week, Tyson announced plans to close a fish-processing factory in Wisconsin. The company acquired the plant in 2018 when it bought foodservice supplier Keystone Foods.

Earlier this month, Tyson set out a policy for its US workforce to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by the start of November.

Staff based at office locations will have to have had the jabs by 1 October. The rest of Tyson’s US employees have another month to get their vaccines “subject to ongoing discussions with locations represented by unions”, the company said.