News update:Mar 9, 2016

Peco announces $165 million poultry project in Arkansas

US poultry processor, Peco Foods has announced plans to build a fully integrated poultry complex in Randolph and Clay Counties in northeastern Arkansas.

The new facilities will include a hatchery, feed mill and processing plant. Through both locations, the company plans to invest an estimated, $165 million and create 1,000 new jobs.

Peco has had a presence in Arkansas since 2011 when the company acquired the Townsends Poultry Complex in Batesville. In addition to the Batesville facility, Peco operates a feed mill in Newark, Arkansas. Through such acquisitions and expansions, Peco has grown to become the eighth largest poultry producer in the United States, processing approximately 24 million pounds of poultry each week.

Mark Hickman, president and CEO of Peco Foods emphasised that one of the most important aspects of this new complex is that it will enable Peco Foods to expand its rapidly-growing niche as a preferred supplier of raw poultry commodity meats for value-added national accounts. He described that as a key strategy of the company's growth going forward.

Construction will begin in two phases. Groundbreaking on the feed mill site is set for April and the first stages of work on the hatchery and processing plant will begin in July.

Mark Hickman said Peco will incorporate state-of-the-art waste water treatment and protein conversion facilities in the new complex and will utilize the latest technology.

"Historically, one of the biggest challenges facing any poultry company is the treatment of wastewater and the conversion of byproducts in a manner that is environmentally appropriate as well as cost effective," Hickman said. "In keeping with our commitment to protect the environment, we believe the new systems will be a model for the industry."

Headquartered in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Peco Foods has processing plants throughout Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas.

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