Tyson Foods to expand beef production in Kazakhstan

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 1,965 views 

Tyson Foods’ fresh meat division signed an agreement with the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Kusto Group to collaborate on a new beef processing plant in Kazakhstan, an emerging nation in Asia for beef and livestock production. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Government officials from Kazakhstan and the state of Arkansas met with Tyson executives in Springdale on Monday (Dec. 9) at the company’s corporate offices. They signed the agreement with an initial phase to plan the construction of a modern beef processing plant in Kazakhstan with an anticipated harvest capacity of 2,000 head per day. The plant is expected to help the country generate more than $1 billion U.S. dollars.

“We’re pleased to execute an agreement with the government of Kazakhstan and partner with Kusto,” said Steve Stouffer, group president Tyson Fresh Meats. “This opportunity supports one of our growth strategies to expand Tyson’s global business, and we look forward to bringing our expertise and capabilities to the country of Kazakhstan.”

Tyson Foods CEO Noel White has been trying to expand the company’s global footprint as the majority of protein growth on the planet in the next decade will occur outside the U.S. Earlier this year, Tyson Foods increased its stake in Grupo Vibra, a Brazilian poultry company, to help with increased demand in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

In the past two years, Tyson Foods has made investments abroad with the acquisition of Keystone Foods, which added operations in China and added a presence in South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia, and BRF poultry businesses in Thailand and Europe.

Kazakhstan is the first investment in global beef expansion since the company has been refocused on international growth. Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world by geographic area and has identified the livestock and the multi-protein export industry as a key growth market. The country has an established beef industry that serves the domestic population with exports to the region.

Tyson Foods said its agreement with the Kusto Group is part of a broader initiative by the Kazakhstan government to expand and modernize agriculture, beginning with meat production.

Tyson Foods officials have traveled to Kazakhstan, and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Askar Mamin, and representatives from the country have been to the U.S. to visit Tyson Foods headquarters, including one of the company’s major beef complexes.

“We are delighted to welcome Tyson Foods to Kazakhstan,” said Prime Minister Mamin. “Tyson is a world-class company with the expertise necessary to help Kazakhstan jump-start the transformation of our agro-protein capabilities and help us create an ecosystem that will increase our beef herd size and establish conditions to support thousands of new high-quality jobs in the country. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial collaboration.”

Kusto Group, based in Singapore but founded in Kazakhstan, has an existing subsidiary with a leading position in beef production in the country.

“At Kusto, we believe in the tremendous potential of Kazakhstan to transform into a global agricultural player, helping provide first-class products for consumers around the world,” said Yerkin Tatishev, chairman of the board of directors, Kusto Group.

“Together with Tyson Foods, we are taking the first step in that direction today with our beef operations and look forward to getting underway,” he added.

Tyson Fresh Meats, based in Dakota Dunes, S.D., operates beef plants in Nebraska, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Texas and Washington. The company’s beef business generated $15.8 billion in sales in fiscal year 2019.