Sanderson Farms recently opened a new $155 million processing plant and wastewater treatment facility in St. Pauls, N.C. The new 180,000 sq. ft. plant will accompany the existing 65,000 sq. ft. hatchery located in Lumberton, N.C., as well as a feed mill in Kinston, N.C., making it the company’s 11th fully integrated poultry processing facility nationwide.
As Sanderson Farms continues its steady growth, the company said the new deboning facility will provide greater accessibility to the East Coast market as well as employ 1,100 workers in the St. Pauls community, with an additional 100 contract growers.
“I think it’s probably one of the best things we’ve had in 30 years,” said St. Pauls mayor Gordon “Buddy” Westbrook. “We need the project. We need the jobs, so it’s great.”
Sanderson Farms said it believes in being a part of each community where plants are located. “We’re hiring a lot of good, local people,” said Pic Billingsley, director of development and engineering for Sanderson Farms.
In addition to the 1,600 workers the company already employs in North Carolina, Sanderson said it looks forward to providing employment opportunities to Robeson County.
The facility features the latest technology in the poultry industry, including food safety, employee welfare and environmental conservation. The St. Pauls facility, which was built on a greenfield site, will utilize a mechanical wastewater treatment system for recycling wastewater to be used on a neighboring 1,500-acre plot of land owned by the company.
The state-of-the-art poultry complex will be able to process 1.25 million birds per week for the big bird deboning market and will sell approximately 500 million lb. of dressed poultry meat annually.