US- Tyson Foods, an American multinational corporation, has invested US$90million in an expansion project at its Mississippi plant to increase chicken processing capacity amid growing demand for protein.
The expansion, according to Tyson Foods will add automation technology and manufacturing capacity, specifically designed to process more chicken for food service and retailers.
The company said the expansion will also improve the labor conditions at its Forest plant, which employed 1,250 workers during its 2021 fiscal year.
David Bray, Tyson’s group president of poultry noted that the project will accelerate the company’s automation footprint but he did not specify what “innovative” automation technology would be implemented at the facility.
Bray stated: “This project demonstrates our ability to execute a product mix change that translates into less intensive labor for team members while creating more jobs at a competitive pay structure.”
“It is a win-win to support the long-term growth of the Forest community and our operations.”
This expansion investment is part of the meat and poultry processor’s commitment to spend around US$1.3 billion on automation during the next three years, which was announced in 2021.
The American multinational corporation highlighted the investments will be channeled to projects that involve artificial intelligence and predictive analytics.
The investment made by Tyson Foods comes at a time when the company is tackling supply issues related to improving chicken production and efficiency, which has lagged in recent years.
Recently, Tyson told Food detailed that automation efforts such as chicken deboning machinery and employee retention programs, are part of its goal to increase output at a time of high demand for the company’s offerings.
The company reported sales had increased to US$13.1 billion in the most recent year, a 16% jump from the prior year.
Amid heightened demand, Tyson increased its yearly sales forecast by more than US$3 billion to the range of US$52 billion to US$54 billion, president and CEO Donnie King said in May.
Tyson is (has been) aggressively opening new plants or adding on to existing ones and also making strategic partnerships in an effort to meet the growing demand for proteins, snacks, and other offerings.
The company has announced plans to open 12 new plants during the next two years in order to boost volume.
It is also planning to partner with SideChef to add shoppable QR codes to Walmart’s and Target’s websites, a new feature that many companies are exploring to make it easier for shoppers to buy ingredients for a recipe.
Furthermore, Grocery Dive has reported that the company is planning US$1 billion in “productivity savings” by the end of the fiscal year 2024.
This is a series of changes that the company hopes can revive shareholders’ confidence and recoup lost ground.
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