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Closure of House of Raeford Turkey Plant Leads to Layoffs

05 August 2013

US - Last week, the House of Raeford Farms closed its turkey slaughter plant in North Carolina. The closure led to 950 employees being laid off.

The closure had been anticipated since March, when the company said it was leaving the commodity turkey business to concentrate on chicken.

At the time the company said the effect of high corn prices caused by government ethanol mandates has driven feed costs higher and the turkey industry had experienced multiple years of flat to declining per capita turkey consumption.

These factors, combined with rapidly falling commodity turkey prices and historic and projected losses, contributed to the company’s decision.

Bob Johnson, CEO of House of Raeford then said: “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.

“This expansion will provide opportunities for as many of our growers and employees as possible to transition into the chicken business. “

The plant has been in operation since the 1950s, becoming part of the House of Raeford in 1975.

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