COBHAM, England — Cargill plans to invest £35 million ($56.3 million) over the next 24 to 36 months to upgrade its poultry processing operations in Hereford, England. The company said the investments will allow it to expand capacity.

“This is an exciting time for the poultry industry and as demand for fresh chicken grown in the UK continues to rise amongst retailers and consumers, we aim to position ourselves to better support this,” said Pilar Cruz, managing director of Cargill Meats Europe. “This investment will position Cargill for future growth and strengthen our relationship with key strategic customers in the UK.”

Cargill said it already has introduced controlled atmosphere stunning and upgraded the bird reception facilities in Hereford. The next phase is to expand the plant’s chilling capabilities and hatchery in order to position the company for future growth.

While these projects are under way, Cargill will be working with local UK chicken farmers to look at how to continue to build a sustainable and long-term chicken supply chain while increasing the number of home grown chickens available to the UK market.