Cargill Inc. is expanding its poultry interests in Europe through the purchase of a major Polish chicken producer, marking its first protein business in that country.
The Minnetonka-based agribusiness is rapidly expanding its poultry interests in Europe, Asia and Latin America. The company doesn’t have chicken operations in the U.S.
Cargill did not disclose what it paid for Konspol, one of Poland’s largest food companies. Both companies are privately owned.
Cargill’s poultry business now spans 14 countries. And while this may be its first meat-based interest in Poland, Cargill already employs more than 1,700 people in 22 locations there, including 19 manufacturing facilities — from mills to factories to plants — for its animal feed, grain and sweeteners businesses.
Konspol sells fresh, frozen and cold-cut chicken products. It, too, has more than 1,700 employees in Poland. Cargill will take over operations of its feed mill, five broiler farms and two processing facilities with plans to further expand the business. It will also gain Konspol’s products — both branded and private label — and take over existing customer and supplier agreements, which include Poland’s largest retailers.
“Konspol is a strong and established fresh chicken and value-added food company whose products are the preferred choice across Poland,” said Chris Langholz, president of Cargill’s global poultry unit. “Konspol’s commitment to high-quality food and passion for innovation is the perfect fit.”
According to Konspol’s website, the company is currently managed by the children of founder Kazimierz Pazgan, who started the business nearly 40 years ago. Konspol has made significant investments in modernizing its production facilities and processes and exports to more than a dozen nations. Since 2010, the company has invested more than $100 million to update equipment and operations, according to media reports.
Cargill has committed about $1 billion over the past two years to grow its global poultry business, Langholz said in a recent interview with trade publication Watt PoultryUSA.