Rembrandt Foods is closing its egg plant in Renville, Minnesota.

Rembrandt Foods processes liquid egg products from conventional hen housing at the facility, which employs 52 people in Renville.

“It was a tough choice to make. We are ultimately overindexed on conventional eggs,” Rembrandt Foods President Paul Hardy told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “This decision was about positioning Rembrandt for the future by reinvesting and focusing our resources on our core products and people in Rembrandt (Iowa.)

Hardy said there are no plans to close any of the company’s other facilities.  

According to Hardy, the egg industry is being challenged with an oversupply brought on by the restocking of flocks after the 2015 avian influenza outbreak. Businesses that have signed pledges to only source cage-free eggs and laws in several states that will require that eggs being produced or sold in the states – such as California, Oregon, Washington and Rhode Island -- come from cage-free laying systems have also caused challenges.

The company is considering using the cost savings from closing the Renville plant to possibly increasing its cage-free capacity.

Some of the plant’s employees are expected to transfer to the facility in Rembrandt, Iowa.

According to the Egg Industry Top Companies rankings, Rembrandt Foods is the seventh largest egg company in the United States. It also ranks as the 12th largest egg company in the world. In 2018, it had a flock of 12.5 million hens. The company is headquartered in Spirit Lake, Iowa.

Rembrandt Foods’ decision to close its facility in Renville follows an earlier announcement made in 2018, when it decided it would close its plant in Abbeville, Alabama. At the time, the company cited an aging building and equipment, as well as related inefficiencies, as key factors that led to the decision to shut down that plant.