Butterball acquires turkey further processing plant

by Erica Shaffer
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GARNER, NC – Butterball, LLC completed the purchase of a Raeford, NC turkey cook plant formerly owned by House of Raeford. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Butterball said the acquisition will help the company continue to meet growing consumer demand for Butterball turkey products. Additionally, Butterball expects to create 200 new jobs initially, and a total of 360 jobs over three years.

“We are extremely excited to expand Butterball’s further processing operations in Raeford, NC, and for the opportunity to further strengthen our ties with the community,” said Kerry Doughty, Butterball president and CEO. “Over the next 12 months we anticipate investing nearly $30 million in improvements for the facility, totaling more than 200,000-square-feet, and enhancing its production capacity to 200 million pounds annually.”

Butterball has longstanding ties to local communities throughout North Carolina, including Raeford. The company currently employs nearly 200 individuals in its hatchery operations and Western Breeder Division.

Bob Johnson, House of Raeford president and CEO, said the company will continue to expand the its focus and assets on vertically integrated production of fresh, ready-to-cook, further processed and fully cooked chicken products.

“More than a year ago, we embarked on a strategy to grow our chicken production volume and further processed chicken product lines,” Johnson noted. “The company announced the closing of the plant in October 2014 and ceased operations in December 2014 as part of our new strategic direction. Several parties expressed interest in purchasing the facility; however, we believe Butterball was the best fit.”
Johnson said House of Raeford is pleased “another reputable North Carolina brand will be expanding operations in Raeford.”

“This transaction will bring quality employment and business opportunities to the community through the continued operation of this facility,” he said. “House of Raeford remains committed to and appreciates the support of the local community and its officials throughout this process.”

Johnson added that House of Raeford and Butterball reached an agreement to grant long-term use of a large tract of land to the Sandhills Community College Hoke Center. The agreement will establish a more permanent location for athletic fields.
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