WEST LIBERTY, Iowa – West Liberty Foods, LLC has entered into an agreement to purchase the assets of Decatur, Arkansas-based Crystal Lake Farms including its Free Ranger line of chickens. According to the company, the acquisition will include both breeding stock and processing plant assets. The company did not disclose any specific financial details due to confidentiality agreements between the two parties.
“The acquisition of Crystal Lake Farms and Free Ranger is another exciting step for West Liberty Foods,” said Ed Garrett, CEO for West Liberty Foods. “This expansion of our business will allow us to meet the growing consumer demand for humanely grown, pasture raised poultry.”
The Crystal Lake Farms broilers carry a Step 4 rating from the Global Animal Partnership (GAP), a non-profit group of producers, retailers, animal advocates and scientists that are working toward improving farm animal welfare. GAP has developed a “5-Step Animal Welfare Rating” program that assesses the level of animal welfare both on-farm and during transport. The multi-tiered program promotes continuous improvement in animal handling. The Crystal Lake Farms broilers are raised with pasture-centered, animal-welfare-friendly farming practices.
Crystal Lake’s Free Ranger line is a slower growing chicken that thrives both inside and outside.
“I am excited about the transaction and with West Liberty Foods and the manufacturing expertise they deliver,” said Blake Evans, president of Crystal Lake Farms. “The company will continue to innovate around the breed, feed, and growing environment.”
West Liberty Foods has six locations in three states and employs over 2,700 employees.