Global agri-business Cargill has opened its first chicken processing plant in Russia, adding a $40m facility at its Efremov site, just south of Moscow.

The factory will predominantly supply McDonald’s restaurants in Russia with chicken McNuggets, as well as other chicken products.

“Cargill has had a strong business relationship with McDonald’s for many years and, when sourcing locally became a key requirement for McDonald’s in Russia, we were pleased to help them find a solution,” said Jeremy Graves, general manage for Cargill Meats Europe.

“As part of this investment, Cargill has started to develop local supply partnerships with Russian poultry rearers in order to ensure that the locally sourced chicken meets high quality, food safety and welfare requirements,” he added.

“The long-term goal is that we will source the majority of our chicken in Russia.”

The facility, which has employed over 140 local staff, has the capacity to produce 18,000t a year of further processing chicken products.

Cargill’s operations in Efremov include a corn and wheat sweeteners plant; a vegetable oil refinery and bottling facility; a malt plant and an animal feed mill, including poultry feed.

According to Mr Graves, being part of this cluster of businesses enables the company to “leverage synergies” in order to grow the poultry business in the region.

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