COBHAM, UNITED KINGDOM — Cargill announced on Nov. 6 that it will be investing £35 million over the next 24-36 months to improve efficiencies, upgrade technologies and create a state-of-the-art processing facility in Hereford, U.K.

These investments will also enable Cargill to expand its capacity to process and supply fresh U.K. reared chicken.

“This is an exciting time for the poultry industry and as demand for fresh chicken grown in the U.K. continues to rise amongst retailers and consumers, we aim to position ourselves to better support this. This investment will position Cargill for future growth and strengthen our relationship with key strategic customers in the U.K.,” said  Pilar Cruz, managing director for Cargill Meats Europe.

Cargill has already introduced controlled atmosphere stunning and upgraded the bird reception facilities in Hereford. The next phase is to expand Cargill’s chilling capabilities and hatchery in order to position the company for future growth.

While these projects are underway, Cargill will be working with local U.K. chicken farmers to look at how to continue to build a sustainable and long term chicken supply chain while increasing the number of home grown chickens available to the U.K. market.

“Cargill’s investment plans will not only help us support our customers but also local farmers and the industry as a whole. We are committed to working together with our farmers, customers, suppliers and communities to help the UK poultry industry to thrive and to leverage our broad global knowledge, ethics and values to build a strong sustainable growth business in the UK,” Cruz said.