IN addition to planned expansions at several facilities in the region, Pilgrim's Pride announced Nov. 19 that it will consolidate its current fresh poultry processing operations by closing its fresh poultry processing operation in Boaz, Ala.
Production at Boaz will be absorbed by facilities in Russellville, Ala., and Douglas, Ga., allowing the company to utilize idle capacity while maintaining current production levels.
Pilgrim's chief executive officer Bill Lovette said the move would yield more than $20 million in incremental margin as part of a goal to generate some $200 million in savings next year.
"This announcement reflects the strength of our balance sheet, our willingness to strategically invest in our business and our continued commitment to the pursuit of operational excellence," he said. "Our intent is to offer retention incentives to encourage many of our Boaz team members to remain with the company in different capacities."
The Boaz facility is the company's smallest operation in terms of processing capacity; many of its 1,100 workers will be offered opportunities at other nearby Pilgrim's operations, and all will be offered retention incentives.
The company purchased the facility in 2007. Current contract growers will likely have an opportunity to supply the Pilgrim's facilities in Russellville and Douglas.
As part of the consolidation, the company will spend $10 million to upgrade its feed mill in Falkville, Ala., and add roughly 100 jobs at the Russellville and Douglas operations.
Pilgrim's also announced plans to invest $25 million to expand its large-bird deboning capacity and modernize utilities at its Mt. Pleasant, Texas, facility. Also, it previously announced a $25 million upgrade at its feed mill and processing operations in Enterprise, Ala.