Cobb-Vantress’ US$40 million (m) investment will produce grandparent chickens to breed high-value chicks, which will be exported to distributors and Cobb’s own operation in China to meet expected Asia-Pacific demand.
The New Zealand operation is expected to deliver two million grandparent chickens per year, beginning in February 2019. The New Zealand Land Information service said the export of the high-value genetic stock was likely to add some US$40m each year to the country’s overseas sales.
The facility is expected to create around 100 jobs and is located in Rotongaro, near Huntly, South Auckland on 368 acres.
It is hoped the new facility will take advantage of the favourable poultry health status that New Zealand enjoys, due to the fact it has historically experienced low occurrences of diseases such as avian influenza, and therefore is expected to provide a stable and lower disease-risk point of supply.
“The Cobb New Zealand project is strategically important for Cobb’s Asia-Pacific region. We expect Cobb New Zealand to consistently supply genetics to most of Asia,” Pelayo Casanovas, general manager of Cobb Asia-Pacific, said. “We have achieved our goal to be Asia’s breed of choice in the Asia-Pacific broiler market. And we plan for Cobb New Zealand to further strengthen our relationships in the region and beyond.”
At the ground-breaking, Cobb-Vantress president Joel Sappenfield said: “We want to thank our new neighbours, new friends and old friends. We look forward to being good neighbours in this new land. I admire your beautiful country and culture, which we are very proud to be part of.”