Cal-Maine Foods to grow Florida cage-free egg production

On October 25, Cal-Maine Foods announced a project to grow its cage-free egg production capacity in the Southeast U.S.

Meredith Johnson Headshot
Courtesy of Andrea Gantz
Courtesy of Andrea Gantz

On October 25, Cal-Maine Foods announced a project to grow its cage-free egg production capacity in the Southeast U.S. The company plans to fund the $23 million expansion using a combination of available cash on hand, investments and operating cash flow.

The expansion involves construction of two cage-free layer houses and one cage-free pullet house. This will allow Cal-Maine to expand its capacity by approximately 400,000 cage-free hens and 210,000 pullets. The construction of the pullet house will be prioritized, with potential bird placements planned for mid-May 2022. Completion of the first layer house is expected by October 1, 2022, while the second layer house is expected by February 1, 2023.

“This most recent expansion project in Florida supports our strategy to position Cal-Maine Foods as an industry leader in meeting the growing demand for specialty egg offerings, including cage-free eggs. We have a strong market presence in Florida with a large customer base served by the Okeechobee location. This expansion will further enhance our ability to serve this important market region with production and distribution in proximity to our customers,” stated Dolph Baker (chairman and chief executive officer of the company) in the announcement.

“We have invested approximately $482 million since 2008 in facilities, equipment and related operations to expand our cage-free production and distribution capabilities. We are committed to meeting the needs of our valued customers and will continue to identify further growth opportunities in tandem with expanding consumer demand and state requirements for cage-free eggs,” he commented.

Currently, the company operates eight production facilities in the state of Florida, including the Okeechobee location. Florida is the second most saturated state for Cal-Maine, with Texas being the first containing 12 facilities.

Cal-Maine Foods, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest producer and distributor of fresh shell eggs in the United States. According to the Egg Industry Top Companies Special Report, the company had a flock of 44.26 million hens at the conclusion of 2020.

 

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