US agri-food business Cargill is set to invest £35m to upgrade its poultry production facility in Wolverhampton, UK.

The investment will be used to add a second production line at the plant, which is expected to produce nearly 19,000t of breaded and battered chicken products per year for its foodservice customers.

Cargill expects to generate an additional 80 jobs through the expansion investment and further improve its footprint in the UK’s poultry market.

"The investment will be used to add a second production line at the plant, which is expected to produce nearly 19,000t of breaded and battered chicken products per year."

The 80 new roles include engineering team leaders, multi-skilled shift engineers and production operatives.

The facility’s workforce will amount to 250 individuals with these additional roles.

Cargill commercial director Jon Lauritzen was quoted by www.foodbev.com as saying: “We have built a sustainable chicken supply chain with our trusted partners to provide our Wolverhampton site with whole chicken breast fillets to make breaded and battered products for our loyal foodservice customers.

“Our further investment of £35m will ensure we maintain our reputation as a ‘best-in-class’ facility.”

Cargill is teaming up with the UK Government’s employment agency Job Centre Plus and Wolverhampton City College to promote its recruitment drive.

The new facility at the Wolverhampton site will also launch a learning and development programme through the utilisation of its apprenticeship fund later this year, which is set to receive support from the National Skills Academy for Food & Drink.

Cargill initially received approval from competition authorities to merge its UK fresh chicken business with Faccenda Foods in December 2017.

The company also announced the details of a new joint venture (JV) with Faccenda known as Avara Foods in January.

Each of the companies owns a 50% share in the Avara Foods operation, which combines their respective chicken, turkey and duck produce divisions.