Poultry giant: automate to reduce costs
Poultry giant Pilgrim's Pride plans to increase
automation and raise prices in its foodservice contracts with the aim of
offsetting the impact of rising costs and labour shortages at its
Pittsburg, Texas-based Pilgrim's Pride said it struggled with a $189
million increase in feed ingredient costs in the fiscal 2007 year ended 29
September. Furthermore, if market conditions do not change, it is anticipated
that the company will face an even steeper $345 million increase in feed costs
for its 2008 fiscal year.
Automating job functions at poultry
According to Chief Executive O.B. Goolsby Jr., automation will be a key
focus of the company's capital investment programme in fiscal 2008. "We believe
this investment, which includes labour-reducing technology, will enable use to
move more products to our plants efficiently and help alleviate some of the
recent issues related to a tight labour market and higher input costs."
Chief Operating Officer J. Clinton Rivers said that the company is now
installing automated equipment in selected plants to help ease increased
competition for workers. This technology will eliminate the need for some 250
jobs, while also reducing overtime and the reliance on outside processors, he
said, adding that Pilgrim's Pride anticipates similar investments throughout the
balance of fiscal 2008 that will "eliminate the need for hundreds of positions,
most of which are unfilled today".
Related links:Pilgrim's Pride
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