Cargill’s European poultry business is a leading supplier and innovator of primary and further processed chicken products for retail, food service and food manufacturing customers.
In the UK, the business operates a fully integrated processing structure which allows Cargill to closely manage traceability, quality, global supply chains, risk management and technical aspects of food production. The supply chain starts with our chicken breeder and egg laying farms which supply our hatcheries in Herefordshire. Up to two million chicks are hatched per week and then placed at 100+ independently owned farms.
The birds are reared in compliance with rigorous animal welfare and food safety standards, and in accordance with a variety of growing programmes, from farm-assured to free-range production, to meet the demands of our customers and ultimately of their shoppers.
Processing is carried out at one of our four manufacturing facilities in the UK, where a range of products are manufactured including tray packed fresh chicken and chicken portions, BBQ chicken products, rotisserie and marinated chicken and coated chicken products.
Cross functional teams, including new product development, production, quality assurance, procurement, sales and marketing work together to research, develop and launch ranges for both retail and food service customers. Each of these functions plays an important role in adding value to Cargill’s relationship with its customers; building on our desire to offer the very best in quality products and services.
Investments that started in 2013 have positioned the company for further growth by expanding Cargill’s capacity to process and supply fresh UK chicken to retail and food service customers. £35 million is being invested over 2-3 years to improve efficiencies, upgrade technologies and create a state of the art processing facility in Hereford.
Rigorous animal welfare
Cargill takes its responsibilities for animal welfare very seriously. As one of the UK’s leading chicken companies, we only source our birds from experienced farmers who are independently audited against detailed and comprehensive welfare management systems. All of the birds we source and then process are reared to Red Tractor Farm Assurance standards, which guarantees they have been reared responsibly. All our chickens will have had been provided with access to natural daylight and enriched environments to provide stimulation during the rearing process. Red Tractor Farm Assurance is a world recognised standard which exceeds EU legislation and UK legal requirements and so we are confident in the traceability of our chicken supply chain.
The care and responsibility for the bird doesn’t stop there - all of our employees that handle live birds receive specific training to ensure that the highest possible welfare standards are maintained at all times. Strict adherence to welfare related procedures and requirements is rigorously monitored by company management.
Our purpose-built Hereford and Newent facilities operate under Government inspection through the daily supervision of an Official Veterinary Surgeon who, in addition to checking hygiene and quality standards, independently monitors bird welfare at every stage.
Food safety standards
All our facilities are audited annually by independent third-party certification bodies against the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Food Safety Standard or equivalent accreditation system.