Singapore-based Cargill Asia Pacific Holdings Inc. Pte. Ltd. is seriously considering investing heavily into poultry production in the Philippines through local unit Cargill Philippines Inc. to meet the increased demand during the peak season.
“There is more room for animal business in the Philippines. We’re looking at getting into new things like investing in poultry,” Cargill chairman for the Asia Pacific Alan Willits said in a briefing Thursday.
Cargill, a major food producer, noted that chicken supply in Philippines was traditionally deficient during the peak season, or during holidays and the school period.
The company plans to supply industrial and big food establishments such as Jollibee, McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken to avoid displacing small poultry raisers.
Cargill assured it would not compete with wet market poultry and eat into the share of domestic integrators.
As an expert in animal nutrition and a big player in the animal feeds category, Cargill expects its animal feeds division to complement plans for poultry raising and marketing in the Philippines.
It will earmark production for local consumption and may consider exports as operations become more stable.
“I would think that with the growth in the Philippines and the size of the population, there’s plenty of opportunity to serve the domestic market. That’s our initial intent, we can’t exclude the potential of exports at some point. I could see that the initial investment is worth as the market is growing,” said Willits.
Cargill still has to decide on the location and the business model that will fit the Philippine settings and the supply chain it will focus on.
“There might be some nuances like consumer preferences we need to understand,” said Willits.
Cargill has thriving poultry operations in Indonesia and China, where it has a fully-integrated poultry production facility.
It made the $300-million China-facility avian-influenza free and fully-air conditioned with no outside interaction.
The company declined commit a date on the start of the project.
“I wouldn’t speculate on the timeline but this kind of project like this usually within a year. I think it is an interesting opportunity here so we’d like to invest if we can find the right opportunity,” said Willits.
“So with this serious growth opportunity, we have some further capabilities on processing in terms of innovation. But how it exactly it will play out is still under study,” he said.