Thai chicken producer GFPT Plc
plans to boost its production by at least 30,000 birds per day through its new joint venture with Japan's leading food company Nichirei Food Inc
When fully operational GFPT Nichirei Thailand it is expected to increase GFPT's sales by about 30-40%, said Anan Sirimongkolkasem, managing director and chairman.
The Thai company, which holds 49% of the 1.56- billion-baht (€ 32.6m) joint venture, is planning to build 30 chicken farms on a 1,600ha compound in Chon Buri.
The province is the company's main base with about 150,000 chickens slaughtered each day.
Output from the additional farms would be enough to supply a new slaughtering plant with an annual capacity of 87,500 tonnes of fresh meat, which can be processed into about 30,000 tonnes of cooked products for export to Japan.
Nichirei has a stron distribution network in Japan, servicing more than 30,000 outlets at leading convenience stores including FamilyMart, 7-Eleven, and Lawson.
The Japanese partner will benefits from the supply of quality-controlled raw meat. The venture will also see Nichirei become a fully integrated business.
Difficult to find workers
The new company will employ about 2,000 workers. But recruiting workers for the business is generally quite hard because they are bound by tight quality controls and a heavily monitored working process, Dr Anan said.
"We have to offer accommodation and work-training classes, and now we have to send head-hunting teams to schools to get new staff," he added.
Small growth in 2009
Dr Anan, also the president of the Thai Broiler Processing Association, said Thailand's chicken industry would grow slightly in 2009, from exports of 380,000 tonnes of meat last year.
Demand for Thai chicken improved in the first four months of the year after Japan turned away from China over food safety concerns. The EU also has allocated an import quota that benefits Thai suppliers.
He said shipments rose to 118,000 tonnes in the first four months, compared with 117,000 a year earlier, ensuring stronger export growth by end of the year.