The Crystal Lake Farms poultry processing plant in Jay, Oklahoma, will cease its operations on September 10, the company announced.
The 35,000-square-foot plant processes pasture-raised broiler chickens that carry a Step 4 rating certification from the Global Animal Partnership (GAP).
Gerald Lessard, Crystal Lake Farms president, told NewsOK that economics prompted the decision to close the plant.
An estimated 110 employees will be affected by the closure. In addition to the plant closure, Crystal Lake Farms and its parent company, West Liberty Foods, will reduce its pedigree farming operations in Decatur, Arkansas, by about 20 employees.
Workers facing those job losses will be offered opportunities to transfer to other West Liberty Foods facilities, as well as severance packages and team bonuses. The company also stated that it is working with the states of Oklahoma and Arkansas to help displaced workers.
Crystal Lake Farms has been owned by West Liberty Foods for a little more than a year.
When West Liberty Foods announced it had entered into an agreement to purchase the assets of Crystal Lake Farms and Free Ranger in February, 2017 West Liberty Foods Chief Executive Officer Ed Garrett called the planned acquisition “another exciting step for West Liberty Foods,” and stated: “This expansion of our business will allow us to meet the growing consumer demand for humanely grown, pasture-raised poultry.”
Prior to becoming a Crystal Lake Farms poultry plant in 2015, the facility was operated by Simmons Custom Process Inc., according to the company's website
Headquartered in West Liberty, Iowa, West Liberty Foods specializes in slicing and co-packing cooked red meat and poultry products. As a turkey processor, West Liberty Foods slaughtered 235.56 million pounds of live turkeys in 2017, according to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database, making it the 11th largest turkey company in the United States.