Cobb-Vantress, Inc. is to invest €12 million ($15 million) in doubling the capacity of its Herveld pedigree farm in the Netherlands over the next 12 months.
Expansion of the farm, which came to Cobb from Hendrix Genetics as part of the acquisition of the Hybro breed, is the latest move in increasing the company’s global research and development programme.
Work will begin early November to construct 13 new houses which are expected to be completed within 12 months, then refurbishment of the existing buildings will begin. The expansion will result in an estimated 35 additional jobs at the farm.
Last year the on-farm hatchery was renovated at a cost of €1.0 million ($1.25 million), increasing the hatch capacity and becoming the company’s first pedigree single-stage hatchery.
“The Herveld farm investment reflects our commitment to the importance of the European market sector to our business,” said Jerry Moye, president of Cobb. “Europe remains a key focus for Cobb’s long-term growth, and so this investment is part of our overall strategy for the future.”
A feature of the new houses will be the innovative system for environmental control using ground source heat in winter and deep water from a nearby lake for pre-cooling incoming air in summer — believed to be the first such combined system in the Dutch poultry industry.
Roy Mutimer, general manager of Cobb Europe, has welcomed the new investment. “This expansion of our research capacity complements the investment in our facilities for producing grandparent stock to meet growing demand from our franchise distributors across Europe, the Middle East and Africa,” he stated.
“Over the past two years we’ve spent almost €4.5 million ($5.5 million) in rebuilding and re-equipping two of our great grandparent farms in Norfolk, reflecting our confidence in the increasing market for Cobb products in this part of the world.”
The start of the new investment at Herveld comes within six months of the opening of Cobb’s fifth US research complex built at a cost of €17 million ($22 million) in Tennessee, stated as playing an important role in developing broiler breeding stock to sustain the company’s position as a global leader in broiler genetics.
Herveld pedigree farm