KUTSOVKA, UKRAINE — Cargill announced on Dec. 17 plans to invest $7 million in Ukraine to construct a new animal feed mill. The feed mill, which will be built in Kutsovka, marks the company's entry into the animal nutrition market in Ukraine.

The mill has the capacity to produce, mix and pellet approximately 50,000 tonnes of bagged and bulk animal feeds per year. Construction is expected to begin in January 2011, and it is anticipated that the facility will be operational by the end of 2011. The new facility is expected to employ up to 40 full-time positions.

"By entering the animal nutrition market in Ukraine, we are expanding Cargill's existing network of animal feed plants globally in order to meet the growing demands of the livestock industry," said Dan Burke, head of Cargill's animal nutrition business in Europe. "In recent years, we have seen a significant increase in meat consumption and meat production in Eastern Europe. This investment will enable us to leverage our global expertise, technology and knowledge to support the growth of this renewed livestock sector in Ukraine."

Once operational, the mill will distribute feed, under the Purina brand, to local dairy, swine and poultry livestock farmers through a dealer network. Cargill expects this network will be made up of over 100 dealers in three years' time. While the mill is being built, Cargill intends to explore opportunities to help meet current local demand for animal feed.

Cargill has been based in Ukraine since 1991, and it has a significant presence mainly in the food and agricultural sectors, including grain and oilseeds origination and processing. With over 700 Ukraine-based employees, Cargill is one of the leading foreign investors in Ukraine.

"With significant operations on the ground, we plan to draw on synergies from our established grain and oilseed business and to leverage valuable contacts and existing relationships built up by our long-term commitment to Ukraine," said Malcolm Sayer, general manager of Cargill's animal nutrition business in Ukraine. "We are fortunate to have received strong ongoing support from both the agricultural community and government and we believe we have a meaningful role to play in this sector and, in the process, help raise rural GDP and support local farmers' incomes."