February 26, 2019


Cobb unveils US$50 million New Zealand Facility



After two years of preparation and construction, Cobb celebrated the opening of its New Zealand pure-line facility on January 31, the company said in a press release this month.


Hundreds of community members, Cobb New Zealand team members, company leaders and industry officials attended the ribbon cutting ceremony in Rangiriri, Waikato.


"It's just great to be here and be a part of this beautiful country," said Joel Sappenfield, president of Cobb-Vantress. "We want to thank local marae cluster Ngā Muka Development Trust and Waahi Whānui Trust for their continuous support for Cobb New Zealand."


Asia-Pacific is the poultry breeding companies' fastest growing region, and the new facility takes advantage of the favorable poultry health status that New Zealand enjoys. New Zealand has historically experienced lower occurrences of diseases such as avian influenza, and therefore is expected to provide a stable and lower disease-risk source that can supply the entire region. Cobb was Asia's breed of choice in the Asia-Pacific broiler market in 2017 and 2018.


Cobb's nearly US$50 million investment will produce grandparent chickens to breed high-value chicks which will largely be exported to distributors and Cobb's own operation in China to meet expected Asia-Pacific demand. The complex includes one hatchery, one quarantine shed, nine rearing sheds and 12 production sheds. Customer delivery of breeding stock from the facility is expected to begin this summer.


"As we have done with other Cobb facilities around the globe, we integrated the local community during the building stage - and now the operational stage," said Jimmy Chand, general manager of Cobb New Zealand. "This allows for us to provide work for the community and ensures that our new state-of-the-art facility is functioning to supply our customers with consistent, quality products."


When fully operational, the company will employ close to 100 team members, most of whom will come from the surrounding community.


Located in Rotongaro, South Auckland, on 368 acres (148 hectares) of land, Cobb New Zealand is the newest addition to the Cobb family. The company will supply nearly two million grandparent breeding stocks to Asia-Pacific including China, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.


- Cobb