As part of ongoing efforts to meet growing world demand for protein, Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN – News) plans to expand the company’s presence in South America, China, and Mexico.

Rick Greubel, group vice president and president of Tyson International, announced the company has set a goal of increasing international sales from $3 billion in fiscal 2007 to $5 billion by 2010. Expanding and establishing operations in other countries will be a key to achieving this objective.

Greubel reported the company has signed a letter of intent to buy a mid-size, vertically integrated poultry business in Brazil. While details, including the name of the company, have not been released, company officials hope to complete the acquisition before the end of calendar 2007.

Tyson has also reached preliminary agreements for two joint venture poultry operations in China. While specific details were not shared, Greubel indicated both ventures are currently expected to be completed in fiscal year 2008 and will help make Tyson one of the first companies in China to offer a full line of poultry products.

Expansion of Tyson de Mexico, the Mexican poultry subsidiary of Tyson Foods, is another ongoing objective. The company is exploring ways to significantly increase production at its chicken processing operations in Mexico and also expand sales to customers in the region, including those in Central America.

“Our global strategy is to target countries where we see the consumption of protein growing rapidly,” Greubel says. “This includes gaining access to new markets, as well as expanding business with our existing international customers.”

Tyson already has joint venture poultry and pork operations in China and, through Tyson de Mexico, is one of the largest producers of value-added chicken for retail and foodservice customers in Mexico. Earlier this year, the company announced the formation of a vertically integrated beef operation in Argentina with two other companies. In addition, Tyson operates a cattle feedlot and beef processing plant in Alberta, Canada.