Poultry supplier expanding production, denies connection with ‘free roam’ court case

One of Australia’s leading poultry producers is planning on expanding production in south-west New South Wales.

ProTen Holdings wants to develop its poultry farm at Rankins Springs, taking capacity to over a million chickens, the ABC reports.

The expansion is intended to fulfil the requirements of one of its biggest customers, Baiada Poultry, chief executive Daniel Bryant said.

"They’re expanding their processing and growth facilities in the Griffith area and where they want the growth, we typically build the farms," he told the ABC.

"They’ve got to be (within) a certain radius of the processing plant."

The project involves 24 tunnel-ventilated chicken sheds, housing up to 54,000 chickens in each shed.

Last month, the Australia Competition and Consumer Commissions (ACCC) announced it was taking Baiada Poultry and two other suppliers to the Federal Court for making misleading claims about free range chickens.

Bryant denies the expansion is a result of the court case.

The development application depends on final approval from the Western Joint Planning Panel, and has already been lodged with the Carathool Shrie Council.

The company hopes to have the first four sheds built by May 2012.

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