Tyson Foods building new hatchery, closing two poultry facilities

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/danchooalex
© GettyImages/danchooalex

Related tags Tyson foods Poultry

Tyson Foods is investing US$70m in a new hatchery in southwest Arkansas.

The new hatchery will replace an existing one and will triple its capacity to help the company’s nearby poultry processing plants in Hope and Nashville run more efficiently. Construction on the 131,000 square foot facility is expected to be completed in late 2024, according to local media​.

It will employ team members from the existing facility and create new job opportunities for the residents of Hope and surrounding areas. It will also provide new contract opportunities for prospective poultry farmers, as per the reports.

The build follows the opening of the meat giant’s new US$75m state-of-the-art poultry feed mill in that state last July; the mega-mill is now one of the company’s largest feed operations. It reportedly produces about 13,000 tons of finished feed​ in a week and loading 115 rail cars in 11 hours.

Site closures 

Separately, Tyson is set to shutter two plants that employ over 1,600 people as a way of streamlining its US poultry business. The development was first reported​ by The Wall St Journal.

It plans to wind up its processing, broiler and hatching facility at Glen Allen, Virginia, as well at a plant in Van Buren, Arkansas. Both closures are set for May 12.

The goal of the exercise, it said, was to help it better utilize all available capacity at remaining plants.

In its latest quarterly report, the meat group said its chicken business underperformed expectations.

“For chicken, when compared to expectations from last quarter, a few different things didn’t go as planned. Most notably, demand didn’t appear in the parts of the market where we had expected. As a result, we had to move things around and we experienced higher cost, a lower price environment and knock-on effects from a network standpoint,” said CEO Donnie King in a conference call with analysts in February.

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