Demand for high-quality chicken products has increased rapidly in Spain, and now the OSI Group’s Toledo plant operation is positioned better than ever to take advantage of this robust, growing market.
OSI Food Solutions recently added a high-production line to the existing plant in Toledo. The effort cost $20 million, or about 17 million Euro. This will increase capacity from 24,000 tons of product to about 45,000 tons annually. That includes chicken, pork and beef.
The expansion will also add 20 jobs to the 140 current workforce who help make this plant among the finest and high-tech, energy efficient meat processing operations in Europe.
The growth of the chicken market in Spain has been remarkable. Toledo plant manager José María del Río said demand for chicken products has increased by 6% annually, and at an 8% overall rate over three years. He said ramping up plant capacity will be key in meeting swelling demand. Market growth is expected at an even higher rate in coming years.
Upgrades to the plant include an additional 22,600 square feet. A new production hall has been added, new shipping and receiving areas, more storage space and refrigerated rooms dedicated to waste containment storage. Also included in the expansion are oil service areas, space for hot water and nitrogen tanks and a social gathering place for employees.
An additional key upgrade is a development kitchen. This is where new products are created and tested to anticipate the shifting, future needs of consumers. Spaniards are always looking for new and exciting product – the country is fertile ground for “foodies” and gourmet-minded folks who enjoy life and exciting new recipes.
As always, OSI Group has made intensive efforts toward making the Toledo plant extremely energy efficient, environmentally friendly and focused on sustainability. Some 20% in energy consumption reductions have been achieved. Much of that efficiency was realized by improvements in refrigeration techniques and new heat recovery techniques from the plant’s cogeneration system.
The energy and environmental enhancements were recognized by Spain’s regional government – this resulted in a grant of €1.5 million to OSI Spain from the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund.
Finally, the plant was enhanced with an upgraded food defense system. This includes a perimeter surveillance system which monitors the exterior space of the facility, bolstered by indoor cameras to keep tabs on every square foot of the plant indoor grounds and outdoor areas.