ROSE HILL, N.C. — Poultry processor House of Raeford Farms plans to phase out its commodity turkey processing business. The company said it will close its Raeford, N.C., turkey slaughtering plant during the next four to six months. The company will continue operations at its cooking plant in Raeford.
House of Raeford cited high corn prices, declining turkey consumption and falling commodity turkey prices as factors influencing the decision to exit the commodity turkey business. The move is designed to focus resources on increasing chicken production and expanding its fully-cooked turkey and chicken product lines.
“We intend to further expand the chicken business over the next two to three years so that our increased chicken volume will replace the turkey production we are phasing out,” said Bob Johnson, chief executive officer of House of Raeford. “This expansion will provide opportunities for as many of our growers and employees as possible to transition into the chicken business.”House of Raeford’s chicken operations currently represent more than 90% of sales, which were $1.1 billion in 2012. The company is ranked as the 29th largest meat company in North America, according to Meat & Poultry magazine’s annual Top 100 ranking of the largest meat and poultry companies in North America.