GREELEY, Colo. – During a Feb. 20 conference call focused on the fourth-quarter performance of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp.’s 2013 fiscal year, Bill Lovette, president and CEO, expressed optimism about the 2014 fiscal year. Looking ahead, he said market conditions are favorable for the company’s domestic business and that its Mexican operations improved to finish the year on a strong note, thanks to improvement in poultry demand and pricing. Additionally, the company is in the early phases of a new greenfield poultry complex in Mexico.

“We've identified a project in Veracruz, which will enable us to expand first with live sales and work toward a new processing facility in the near future,” he said. The potential for expansion in the region is significant thanks to a growing economy, increased chicken consumption there and the proximity of poultry operations north of Mexico City. The company plans to develop the complex using the successful grower model that has been utilized in the United States. “We're looking for land as we speak.”

Fabio Sandri, CFO, said the investment in the project is a part of the company’s capital expenditures figure of $150 million planned for 2014. The plan includes establishing live-chicken sales, followed by the construction of a feed mill and hatchery and importing hatching eggs as the breeder supply is built.

“Then the next step is we’ll build a processing plant as the need tells us to,” Lovette said.