The company started the arrangement following a fire that severely damaged a House of Raeford plant in February.

LAUREL, Miss. – Sanderson Farms Inc. has signed an agreement to continue processing chickens grown by House of Raeford Farms at Sanderson’s St. Pauls, North Carolina, facility. Sanderson started the interim arrangement with Rose Hill, North Carolina-based House of Raeford in late February after the company’s Teachey, North Carolina, facility was severely damaged in a Feb. 25 fire.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with our North Carolina neighbors, House of Raeford Farms, while they rebuild their Teachey processing facility following the devastating fire. We believe this processing agreement will be beneficial to Sanderson Farms,” Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., chairman and CEO of Sanderson Farms Inc., said.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sanderson Farms will purchase, process and sell chickens grown by House of Raeford Farms through mid-December 2017. The agreement also states that Sanderson Farms may choose to process chickens on a fee basis rather than purchasing them.

According to Sanderson, as a result of this processing agreement the St. Pauls plant will be processing an additional 20.4 million lbs. in its third fiscal quarter of 2017, 26.3 million lbs. in its fourth fiscal quarter of 2017 and 12.4 million lbs. during its first fiscal quarter of 2018.

“Our St. Pauls facility just commenced production in January, and our new managers and employees will gain valuable training and processing experience with this accelerated production schedule. We hope to benefit from favorable chicken markets as we head into the busy summer months,” Sanderson said.