Tyson Foods has announced plans to build a $320 million poultry complex in eastern Kansas, in response to strong consumer demand for chicken.
The company will construct a processing plant, hatchery and feed mill near the city of Tonganoxie, in Leavenworth County, which will employ around 1,600 people and contract with northeast Kansas farmers and ranchers to raise chickens.
The operation, currently scheduled to begin production in mid-2019, will produce pre-packaged trays of fresh chicken for retail grocery stores across the US.
It is estimated that that the plant will be capable of processing 1.25 million birds per week. The payroll and payments to farmers from the new operation, along with its purchase of grain and utilities, is expected to generate an annual economic benefit to the state of Kansas of $150 million.
Tyson Foods anticipates purchasing about 300 acres of property south of Tonganoxie and plans to break ground this autumn. The company will work with outside contractors to build the plant, hatchery, feed mill and related infrastructure.
CEO of Tyson Foods Tom Hayes said: “More people want fresh food and as one of the world’s leading protein companies, we’re well positioned to provide it.
“We believe this new operation, which will incorporate the latest production technology, will enable us to meet the sustained growth in consumer demand for fresh chicken.”
Tyson Foods group president for poultry Doug Ramsey added: “We believe eastern Kansas is the right location because of the availability of grain and labour, as well as access to our nationwide customer base that is accessible through the state’s top-notch transportation network.”
Tyson Foods currently operates facilities in six Kansas communities, employing about 5,700 people.
The announcement is the latest in a series of investments by Tyson Foods in the US, including an $84 million Tennessee poultry plant and a $59 million Georgia distribution centre.
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