The €12 million ($15 million) investment in doubling the capacity of the Herveld pedigree farm – the hub of Cobb research in Europe — was celebrated at three customer events at Kasteel De Haar, near Utrecht, during VIV Europe week.
Expansion of the Dutch farm, which came to Cobb when they purchased Hybro breeding company from Hendrix Genetics in 2008, is the latest move in increasing the company’s global research and development programme.
“The Herveld farm investment reflects our commitment to the importance of the European market sector to our business,” said Jerry Moye, president of Cobb-Vantress, Inc. “Europe remains a key focus for Cobb’s long-term growth, and so this investment is part of our overall strategy for the future.”
“These are exciting times for Cobb in our region,” said Roy Mutimer, general manager of Cobb Europe. “Expanding and renovating Herveld has transformed Herveld into a world-class research and development facility, and our expanded R&D team will deliver accelerated genetic progress to all our customers.
“With the equally impressive investments in our European great grandparent facilities, we have an operation to ensure continuity and quality of supply to Europe, Middle East, Africa and markets beyond.”
Herveld is set in Gelderland, the largest and least populated province of the Netherlands, and is now developed as a state-of-the-art pedigree complex that will ensure continuing breed improvement.
With the Hybro purchase, Cobb saw this as an opportunity to expand and remodel the farm along the lines of their five other research complexes in the United States.
The investment, which brings around 70 additional jobs to Herveld, is in three phases. The initial work was to renovate the on-farm hatchery in a €1.0 million ($1.25 million) project to increase capacity and install the latest incubation technology. Thirteen new poultry houses have been built, with renovation of the original Herveld accommodation now well advanced.
The Herveld project is alongside ongoing investment in Europe and the Middle East where €4.5 million ($5.5 million) has been spent in rebuilding an re-equipping great grandparent farms in the UK, with a further investment in opening a hatchery in Turkey to produce five million parent stock/year.