AURORA, Ill. – OSI Group Poultry Development Co. announced the grand opening of a new modern feed mill located in Rushan, Weihei, Shandong Province in China.

The new facility, which opened in December, has an annual capacity of 600,000 metric tons and is currently one of China’s largest feed mills. Opening the mill moves the company one more step ahead in creating its fully vertically integrated poultry business in the Asia-Pacific region, according to OSI.

In 2010, OSI’s poultry operation began in China. The company plans to reach a slaughtering capacity of 100 million birds per year by 2014, and employ more than 1,500 people. The company said China’s rapidly expanding appetite for safe, quality animal proteins amidst disease concerns supported OSI's decision to go vertical in the poultry business.

Controlled animal protein systems are important to ensure the country's food safety and security, said Stefan Chen, GM of OSI's Poultry Vertical Integration division in China.

“We are building one of China's most modern vertically integrated poultry operations using the latest on-farm and in-plant technologies,” he added. “This allows us to develop a sustainable business model for the future through efficiencies of scale and best practices, along with significant bio-security and food safety measures."

OSI opened its first plant in Beijing in 1992. The company now employs more than 3,500 people throughout its Chinese meat and vegetable operations. OSI’s Asia-Pacific footprint includes Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, India and Australia. OSI Group LLC is a privately held corporation operating more than 50 facilities in 17 countries.