A major plant expansion, including processing and production upgrades at Wayne Farms’ poultry processing facility in Enterprise, Alabama, has been completed.

The Enterprise upgrade is tied to the company’s move into the national consumer marketplace, as locally-produced Naked Truth premium chicken products hit grocery shelves in Whole Foods Markets in April.

The expansion transformed the Enterprise poultry plant into one of the most modern, advanced operations in the industry, according to a press release from Wayne Farms. Employee-centered features like modern, wi-fi equipped breakrooms, enhanced plant ergonomics and other safety and health upgrades have been added, along with new farm and processing equipment and practices relating to enhanced animal welfare of the flocks. Processing technology improvements include Controlled Atmosphere Stunning (CAS), which reduces stress on chickens by minimizing handling and rendering them unconscious before processing.

With the expansion, Wayne Farms increased its production capabilities in Enterprise from about 260,000 chickens daily to nearly 400,000.

The project has also had a positive impact on the area, as additional poultry houses were built and the local farm payroll increased by about $11 million annually.

“We couldn’t have reached this point without a team effort”, said Enterprise complex manager Eddie Fortner. “We’re in a great community that supports us — we’re more than a business here — we’re neighbors and partners in making Enterprise and Coffee County better and more prosperous. We’re proud that this facility and these new jobs are going to be part of that.”

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Wayne Farms’ investment in the region over the last five years are part of the company’s growth strategy to expand and enter new markets tied to production of antibiotic-free chicken and products produced under Global Animal Partnership Step 2 standards, which include:

  • Antibiotic free, all vegetarian diets
  • Natural lighting and reduced house density
  • Housing enrichments to promote natural chicken behaviors.

Chicken products produced in Enterprise and south Alabama are bound for many of the nation’s best-known restaurant and retail food brands, and the company’s entry into the retail market with Enterprise produced all natural Naked Truth chicken was centered around the region’s expanded
production capability.

Wayne Farms’ recent growth in South Alabama

The expansion of Wayne Farms’ facility in Enterprise is just one example of the company’s growth in south Alabama.

Since 2016, the company has also expanded and modernized its plant in Dothan, constructed a feed mill near Ozark, and added more than 1,000 full-time positions.

“Enterprise and South Alabama are central to our growth strategy,” said Brad Williams, Wayne Farms South Alabama region manager. “Our partnerships with Alabama and our local communities, access to a solid labor market, and quality farm operations in the region have been key to that growth.”