By Sam Lewis
The company’s new facility in China supports the company’s mission of improving efficiency and adding value across production and distribution of poultry products, while promoting sustainable agriculture and creating a secure, safe, food supply.
Last November, Cargill’s corporate VP, Todd Hall, announced the company’s plans to create a food secure world at the Provimi Animal Nutrition Seminar in Barcelona. With the opening of the poultry processing plant in China, it seems Cargill has taken another step in that endeavor. To implement its strategy, Cargill brings new, state-of-art technology and expertise to China to update the country’s agricultural practices and promote rural development upgrades in the country’s poultry industry. To do so, the company has built China’s first 13,500 bph / 225 bpm poultry processing plant in Lai'an in Anhui Province, 220 miles northwest of Shanghai.
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Cargill China’s President, Robert Aspell says, “With our expertise in food safety, risk management and supply-chain management, as well as over a century of experience in agriculture and food industries, Cargill is committed to helping our Chinese partners explore opportunities and develop new solutions. We wanted to combine advanced poultry processing equipment and technology with our own innovative initiatives. The primary processing production lines in Lai'an are among the fastest in the world, with a high level of automation.”
Now that the plant is running at full capacity, annual production is projected to be in the neighborhood of 176,000 tons of poultry products. Slaughtering and organ-removal lines are completely automated, as are the processing lines of giblets, which warrant high-processing yields. Poultry products are chilled and portioned in cutting lines, including an automated, leg-cutting module. While leg cutting is automated, leg deboning is a manual endeavor. Breast deboning, however, is a fully automated process.
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Cargill expects great growth potential for processed poultry in China aided by low-pressure portioners. These portioners make consistent products, in terms of size and weight, and don’t change the meat’s integrity. The entire system is monitored through software, enabling future planning, control, and monitoring of all aspects of production. The system also allows for complete traceability, which Cargill views as an important factor in achieving food safety.