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JFC opens PHL’s biggest poultry processing plant

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Officials of Jollibee Food Corp. and Cargill celebrate the unveiling of its poultry processing plant in Sto. Tomas, Batangas. -- JFC

JOLLIBEE Foods Corp. (JFC) unveiled on Tuesday its poultry processing plant in Sto. Tomas, Batangas in partnership with US agribusiness firm Cargill.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, JFC said the facility to be operated by its joint venture vehicle company called Cargill Joy Poultry Meats Production, Inc. (C-Joy) will be the country’s largest poultry processing plant with a capacity of 45 million chickens every year.

“We partnered with Cargill to deliver high quality chicken products through Cargill’s technology and quality standards. The facility will provide JFC with dressed and marinated chicken to augment the chicken supply requirements of the growing needs of the JFC brand,” JFC Chief Executive Officer Ernesto Tanmantiong was quoted as saying in a statement.

JFC has a 30% stake in C-Joy, while Cargill owns the 70%. Last year, JFC said it is investing P244.9 million for its stake in the partnership, while Cargill will pour in P571.5 million.

Cargill is a United States-based agricultural firm providing food, agriculture, financial, and industrial products and services. It is present in 70 countries with an employment count of over 155,000.

“Cargill and Jollibee came together to start this plant because of our common commitment to the highest standards in product quality and food safety. This is reflected in the new plant which harnesses technology and global experience to deliver tasty products in an environment which is safe for our employees and is environmentally sustainable,” C-Joy President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Fullbright said in a statement.

C-Joy will be tapping local poultry farmers in Batangas and neighboring provinces to supply the chicken requirements of the facility, which could potentially create around 1,000 jobs for the community.

“We are looking forward to producing the chickens that will be supplied to the C-Joy plant to meet the poultry meat requirements of Jollibee. One thing I was impressed about is the biosecurity requirements to control the food safety at every stage of production,” JFC quoted Highcrest President Vic Lao as saying in a statement.

The facility will partially support the local requirements of several brands under JFC. The company ended September 2017 with a total of 2,756 restaurant outlets in the Philippines, of which 1,023  are under the Jollibee brand, 510 under Chowking, 262 under Greenwich, 411 under Red Ribbon, 471 under Mang Inasal, and 79 under Burger King.

JFC delivered a 16.3% increase in its attributable profit to P5.11 billion in the first nine months of 2017, following a 15% growth in revenues to P94.51 billion boosted by strong sales in both its local and overseas store network.

Abroad, JFC has a total of 888 stores, excluding 355 outlets under the Smashburger brand where JFC has a 40% interest.

Shares in JFC were up 0.99% or P2.40 to close at P243.80 apiece at the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday. — Arra B. Francia

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