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Bell & Evans to build $260m poultry harvesting facility in Pennsylvania

FBR Staff Writer Published 16 April 2018

US-based poultry processing firm Bell & Evans is set to invest more than $260m to expand its operations in Pennsylvania with a new poultry harvesting facility in Bethel Township, Lebanon County.

The new 560,000ft² poultry facility will have four processing lines, each with a capacity of 600,000 birds a week.  Slated to commence operations in early 2020, the chicken harvesting facility at full capacity will process 2.6 million birds per week.

Bell & Evans is looking for the new capacity to cope up with the growing demand for its whole and value-added chicken products, which are planned to be processed at its poultry processing plant in Bethel Township.

The new chicken harvesting plant will mainly support the company’s retail and food service sectors and will help it in expanding its organic range of chicken products.

Bell & Evans owner Scott Sechler said: “This expansion is supporting local farmers in fifteen surrounding counties by expanding our grow out and breeder operations.

“Additionally, coupled with our 100% conversion to a higher-welfare chicken breed, this expansion ensures Bell & Evans will maintain our position as industry leader and producer of the highest quality chicken in the U.S.”

Bell & Evans plans to procure chickens for the new processing facility from nearby areas with additional production to be obtained from Pennsylvania farms.

The project, which will get a grant from the Pennsylvania government, is anticipated to create 1,069 new, full-time roles in the coming three years while retaining a further 1,650 roles.

Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf said: “This expansion by one of our long-standing Pennsylvania businesses, Bell & Evans, is a truly transformational project.

“Not only will it provide more than 1,000 new, full-time jobs, but it will also support operations of more than 300 Pennsylvania farms, bringing a significant boost to our agriculture sector. I applaud Bell & Evans for choosing to continue their growth right here in Pennsylvania for years to come.”

Founded in 1894, Bell & Evans is among the oldest branded chicken companies in the US.

Image: Bell & Evans’ new chicken harvesting plant in Pennsylvania will create more than 1,000 jobs. Photo: courtesy of kdshutterman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.