UK turkey breeder and grower Kelly Turkeys is planning on setting up its own processing facility in the US, to complement its recently acquired farm.
The new facility at Charlottesville in Albemarle County, Virginia, represents a US$1.4m (£910,000) investment, and has attracted a US$68,000 (£44,000) grant for local start-up business providing new employment. Reports suggest about 33 jobs will be created.
The 43ha farm was purchased last summer and is situated on the east coast, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
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Phase one of the investment is to start construction of a small complex, which will include a plucking area and enlarged refrigeration and storage facilities.
Total investment will approach US$2m (£1.3m) over the next two to three years, as production expands to the projected 10,000 turkeys.
Last November, 1,000 Kelly Bronze were sold for the Thanksgiving celebrations, with the plan to double up every year to 2020. The focus is very much on the top end of the market, supplying New York dressed birds at a premium price point.
Managing director Paul Kelly said the new project presented “lots of challenges, but very exciting times”.