In order to meet increased consumer demand for its chicken products, Tyson Foods has unveiled plans to build a poultry complex in eastern Kansas with an investment of $320m.

The complex will be built near the city of Tonganoxie, in Leavenworth County, and will feature a processing plant, hatchery, and a feed mill.

The company intends to purchase about 300 acres of property south of Tonganoxie and plans to start construction later this year.

In mid-2019, Tyson Foods will begin producing pre-packaged trays of fresh chicken for retail grocery stores nationwide.

Tyson Foods president and CEO Tom Hayes said: “More people want fresh food and as one of the world’s leading protein companies, we’re well-positioned to provide it.

"The facility is expected to provide employment to nearly 1,600 people."

“We believe this new operation, which will incorporate the latest production technology, will enable us to meet the sustained growth in consumer demand for fresh chicken.”

Tyson Foods Poultry group president Doug Ramsey added: “We believe eastern Kansas is the right location because of the availability of grain and labour, as well as access to our nationwide customer base that is accessible through the state’s top-notch transportation network.”

The facility is expected to provide employment to nearly 1,600 people and establish new contracts with northeast Kansas farmers and ranchers to raise chickens.

The plant will have the capability to process 1.25 million birds per week, increasing Tyson Foods’ overall production capacity.