Customer Story

Cargill China chooses Marel Stork

11 Jun 2014

Cargill in China

Cargill’s approach to poultry processing in China is clear. The Company’s mission is to improve efficiency and add value throughout the production and distribution of its range of poultry products, at the same time promoting sustainability in agriculture and a secure and safe food supply.
To implement this strategy, Cargill is committed to bringing the very latest technology and expertise to China, to promoting the modernization of China’s agriculture and to encouraging rural development through upgrades of the poultry industry. It therefore came as no surprise that Marel Stork was chosen to supply China’s first 13,500 bph / 225 bpm poultry processing plant. This state-of-the-art plant has been installed at Lai’an in Anhui Province, 350 km northwest of Shanghai.

Robert Aspell, Cargill China President, says, “With our expertise in food safety, risk management and supply chain management, as well as over a century of experience in agriculture and food industries, Cargill is committed to helping our Chinese partners explore opportunities and develop new solutions that others cannot compete with. We wanted to combine the world’s most advanced poultry processing equipment and technology with our own innovative initiatives. The primary processing production lines in Lai’an are among the fastest in the world, with a high level of automation.”

Cargill in China

The starting points of the project were translated into a plant enabling the food-safe, efficient and fully traceable production of high volumes of top-class fresh poultry products complying with the highest international standards.

Automated primary processing

The plant is now running at its full design speed of 13,500 bph / 225 bpm. Planned annual production is some 176,000 tons of poultry products. The kill and evisceration lines are fully automated, as well as processing of the valuable giblets. The Nuova evisceration system ensures efficient clean evisceration, high processing yields and optimum automatic giblet processing.


After chilling, products are graded and then portioned by two ACM-NT cut-up lines. The systems include various modules and produce a variety of products. Anatomic leg cutting modules JLR are producing high-yield anatomic legs.


Leg deboning is done manually. Breast deboning of the breast is done fully automated next to a manual setup. This setup is prepared for further automation and optimization of the product flow.

Further processing

Cargill foresees great growth potential in further processed products. They are produced on one of the Townsend RevoPortioners. These low pressure portioners produce products that are highly consistent in form and weight and respect the original structure and texture of the meat. The smoothly rotating forming drum requires no water for product release. The system has a very attractive payback time. It offers the best available low pressure portioning technology and is successful in many markets all over the world, China now being one of them.


The whole production system (primary and secondary production) is being monitored by PDS-NT and Innova software. This enables the planning, control and monitoring of the complete production process. It also allows for complete tracking and tracing, an important factor in Cargill’s strive to achieve complete food safety.

The new plant is one stage in the completely controlled, vertically integrated, modern and well-equipped poultry supply chain, including feed production, hatching, breeding, grow-out, slaughtering and processing. Other important themes are: efficiency in the production chain, international hygiene standards, healthy animal nutrition, disease prevention, environmental protection and energy savings.

Booming international food industry

The requirements laid down for the new plant and their implementation in a production process where each individual step is tightly controlled have resulted in a range of wholesome, tasty and safe products. Most of these products are made for international fast food companies such as Yum and McDonald’s, each with their own very strict production requirements. Fast food companies are growing strongly in a China where consumer habits, particularly amongst the younger generation, are changing fast and where urbanization is moving forward quickly.

This is, of course, relates to changing consumer habits, strong economic development, empowerment of the younger generation and strong, ongoing urbanization in China. By 2020, another 100 million people are expected to move from rural to urban areas.