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10. Sanderson Farms Inc.: 604,240,000 head slaughtered annually in 2018
Founded as a small general feed and seed business in 1947, Sanderson Farms Inc. has grown into one the largest chicken companies in the world. Incorporated in 1955 with the initial public offering presented in 1987, Sanderson Farms is a fully integrated poultry processing company engaged in the production, processing, marketing and distribution of fresh and frozen chicken. The common shares of Sanderson Farms Inc. are traded on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange under the symbol SAFM. It employs 14,000.
Sanderson Farms produced 86.6 million pounds of ready-to-cook chicken on a weekly basis in 2018, an increase of 4.1 million pounds – or about 5 percent – from 2017. Sanderson’s 2018 sales were $3.236 billion, a decrease from $3.342 billion in 2017.
Its sales break out 58 percent foodservice, 36 percent retail and 7 percent export. Product forms are 87 percent fresh and 13 percent frozen; and 98 percent cut-up. It offers 1,091 products under the brand Sanderson Farms.
In February 2018, during the company’s annual meeting, the company’s shareholders voted against a proposal to phase out the use of medically important antibiotics for disease prevention in its broiler operations. The company recommended its shareholders vote as such, saying the move would be harmful to the company and the animals. In November 2018, the company announced it will discontinue using antibiotics considered medically important for humans for disease prevention in its live poultry operations by March 2019. The change came after reviewing the results of a study the company commissioned in 2018. Sanderson CEO Joe Sanderson Jr. said the company plans on continuing its judicious use of antibiotics in its birds but it will discontinue the use of gentamicin and virginiamycin for prevention of disease in its live operations. Also in 2018, the company continued its construction of a new complex near Tyler, Texas.
View 11 years of data about Sanderson Farms Inc.