House of Raeford to exit commodity turkey business
House of Raeford Farms is to focus its resources on increasing chicken production volumes and expanding its fully cooked turkey and chicken product lines over the next two to three years, phasing out its commodity turkey growing and slaughter operations in eastern NC.
This decision will result in closure of its Rose Hill, NC turkey hatchery, Raeford, NC turkey slaughter plant, and turkey growing operations in eastern NC over the next four to six months.
The company will continue to operate its Raeford, NC cook plant and will expand its production of fresh ready-to-cook chicken, tray pack ground turkey and chicken, battered and breaded nuggets and patties, and fully cooked turkey and chicken products. Implementation of this decision will have a positive operational impact on current House of Raeford chicken operations.
Over the past decade, growth in chicken operations has already transformed House of Raeford into one of the nation’s top 10 chicken producers and processors.
The effect of high corn prices caused by government ethanol mandates has driven feed costs higher. The turkey industry has experienced multiple years of flat to declining per capita turkey consumption, yet forecasts predict production volume increases over the next two years. These factors, combined with rapidly falling commodity turkey prices and historic and projected losses, contributed to the company’s decision.
By contrast, the company’s chicken business – which now represents over 90% of sales – has grown considerably. “We intend to further expand the chicken business over the next two to three years so that our increased chicken volume will replace the turkey production we are phasing out,” said Bob Johnson, CEO of House of Raeford. "This expansion will provide opportunities for as many of our growers and employees as possible to transition into the chicken business."
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