Butterball has purchased a further processing facility in Raeford, North Carolina. The purchase of this facility, formerly owned by House of Raeford Farms, was completed on February 19, and will help Butterball continue to meet growing consumer demand for a variety of its turkey products.
Operations at the plant are expected to begin in April.
“We are extremely excited to expand Butterball’s further processing operations in Raeford, North Carolina, and for the opportunity to further strengthen our ties with the community,” said Kerry Doughty, Butterball president and chief executive officer (CEO). “Over the next 12 months we anticipate investing nearly $30 million in improvements for the facility, totaling more than 200,000-square-feet, and enhancing its production capacity to 200 million pounds annually.”
House of Raeford decided to close the plant in December 2014 and sell it as part of a new strategic direction, de-emphasizing turkey processing and focusing further on growing its chicken production volume and further processed chicken lines.
While several companies had expressed an interest in purchasing the facility, House of Raeford Farms decided Butterball was the best fit.
“House of Raeford is pleased that another reputable North Carolina brand will be expanding operations in Raeford,” said Bob Johnson, president and CEO of House of Raeford. “This transaction will bring quality employment and business opportunities to the community through the continued operation of this facility. House of Raeford remains committed to and appreciates the support of the local community and its officials throughout this process.”
Butterball already has a presence in Raeford, as it employs nearly 200 people in its hatchery operations and Western Breeder Division. Through this acquisition, Butterball will provide an opportunity for more than 200 initial jobs for those in the Raeford community, and more than 360 jobs over the next three years.
“Butterball is one of North Carolina’s great success stories,” said Gov. Pat McCrory. “The company is known all over the world for its products, and it is great to see it expand its presence here. North Carolina currently ranks first in the nation in turkey production by pound, and the industry is an important part of the state’s economy.”