Tyson - beef plant in Kazakhstan planned

Tyson - beef plant in Kazakhstan planned

US meat giant Tyson Foods has signed an agreement to build a new beef-processing plant in Kazakhstan.

The deal, first mooted seven months ago, follows talks with the Republic of Kazakhstan government and private holding company Kusto Group to collaborate on a project that will see the development of the plant with an anticipated harvest capacity of 2,000 head per day.  

Tyson's total investment has not been disclosed but reports back in May suggested it could be close to US$200m.

The company anticipates the investment will help provide an annual agricultural economic benefit to the country well in excess of $1bn.

Tyson pointed out that Kazakhstan is the ninth-largest country in the world by geographic area and has identified the livestock and the multi-protein export industry as a key growth market. The country has an established beef industry which serves the domestic population and also exports to the central Asia region. 

"The agreement with Tyson and Kusto Group is part of a broader initiative by the Kazakhstan government to expand and modernise agriculture, beginning with meat production," Tyson noted.

Kusto Group, based in Singapore but founded in Kazakhstan, has an existing subsidiary involved in beef production in the country.

Steve Stouffer, group president of Tyson Fresh Meat, said: "We're pleased to execute an agreement with the government of Kazakhstan and partner with Kusto. This opportunity supports one of our growth strategies to expand Tyson's global business, and we look forward to bringing our expertise and capabilities to the country of Kazakhstan."

Yerkin Tatishev, chairman of the board of directors at Kusto Group, said: "At Kusto, we believe in the tremendous potential of Kazakhstan to transform into a global agricultural player, helping provide first-class products for consumers around the world. Together with Tyson Foods, we are taking a first step in that direction today with our beef operations and look forward to getting underway."

Tyson has increasingly turned its attention to international markets with China being a key focus. When the Kazakhstan plan was first reported in May, commentators suggested the facility would be targeted at nearby China rather than Kazakhstan itself.

Tyson's beef business generated $15.8bn in sales in fiscal 2019.