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Cal-Maine Will Turn Closing Tyson Chicken Plant into an Egg Facility

Dec. 30, 2023
The Dexter, Mo., plant, in the process of closing, will immediately perform egg grading and possibly will produce cooked eggs.

In this instance, the chicken came first, then the egg.

Egg producer Cal-Maine Foods will buy a closing Tyson broiler processing plant in Dexter, Mo., and turn it into an egg grading facility and ultimately one processing egg products.

The plant was one of four chicken processing plants Tyson said it would close by the end of March 2024 in an effort to lower costs. The others are in North Little Rock, Ark.; Corydon, Ind.; and Noel, Mo. Tyson estimated it will have $300-400 million in total costs, one of the recent cost-cutting moves by the company, whose finances have been clobbered over the past year.

Cal-Maine “is excited about the growth prospects from this new operation, and, subject to the completion of the transaction, anticipates making additional investments in the facilities and community and creating new jobs,” the acquiring company’s announcement said. “Potential future expansion includes egg products processing capabilities, such as hard-cooked eggs.

“In connection with the acquisition, Cal-Maine Foods expects to enter into agreements with certain of Tyson’s former contract farmers to convert their operations to support Cal-Maine Foods’ cage-free, free-range, or pasture-raised egg production operations.”

Price of the acquisition was not disclosed. There was no mention of state incentives, although Missouri’s U.S. Senator Josh Hawley and Attorney General Andrew Bailey were lobbying to keep the plant open or find another use for it. Cal-Maine expects to close the transaction by the end of February.

About the Author

Dave Fusaro | Editor in Chief

Dave Fusaro has served as editor in chief of Food Processing magazine since 2003. Dave has 30 years experience in food & beverage industry journalism and has won several national ASBPE writing awards for his Food Processing stories. Dave has been interviewed on CNN, quoted in national newspapers and he authored a 200-page market research report on the milk industry. Formerly an award-winning newspaper reporter who specialized in business writing, he holds a BA in journalism from Marquette University. Prior to joining Food Processing, Dave was Editor-In-Chief of Dairy Foods and was Managing Editor of Prepared Foods.

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