Sanderson Farms announced plans to build a new processing complex at Palestine, Texas, during a February 14 conference call with shareholders.

Joe Sanderson Jr., chief executive officer of Sanderson Farms, said the new big bird deboning complex will consist of a feed mill, hatchery, poultry processing plant and wastewater treatment facility. 

The announcement had been long anticipated, since the company in November 2012 backed away from plans to build in Nash County, N.C. 

“Since that announcement, we have continued to evaluate and pursue alternative locations that will enable us to continue our pattern of steady growth,” Sanderson Farms. “Texas has been an outstanding place to do business. We are looking forward to expanding in Texas and to the new marketing opportunities the new facility will create.”

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The proposed facility remains on hold, subject to the improvement of market conditions, availability of grain, obtaining permits, entering construction contracts, obtaining necessary growers, and final approval by the company’s board of directors.

Sanderson said he expects the company to shift more toward chill-packed chicken, as the new location will allow the company to reach new retail markets in the northeastern United States.

He added the new complex will provide opportunities for employees and young managers as they have worked through the challenges of finding a new location.

“We are futher demonstrating our confidence in the long-term success of Sanderson Farms, with a considerable investment in a new poultry complex that will provide additional poultry products for new customers, opportunities for employees, and above all, additional value for our shareholders,” he said.