The board of directors of Ridgeland, Mississippi-based Cal-Maine Foods Inc. has approved a $23 million capital project to expand the company’s cage-free egg production at its Okeechobee, Florida, production facility.
The project will include the construction of two cage-free layer houses and one cage-free pullet house with capacity for approximately 400,000 cage-free hens and 210,000 pullets, respectively. Construction will commence immediately with first pullet placements planned by mid-May 2022 and the first layer house finished by Oct. 1, 2022. The second layer house and project completion is expected by Feb. 1, 2023. The company plans to fund the project through a combination of available cash on hand, investments and operating cash flow.
“This most recent expansion project in Florida supports our strategy to position Cal-Maine Foods as an industry leader in meeting the growing demand for specialty egg offerings, including cage-free eggs,” said Dolph Baker, chairman and CEO of Cal-Maine Foods Inc. “We have a strong market presence in Florida with a large customer base served by the Okeechobee location. This expansion will further enhance our ability to serve this important market region with production and distribution in proximity to our customers.
“We have invested approximately $482 million since 2008 in facilities, equipment and related operations to expand our cage-free production and distribution capabilities. We are committed to meeting the needs of our valued customers and will continue to identify further growth opportunities in tandem with expanding consumer demand and state requirements for cage-free eggs.”
Cal-Maine Foods Inc. is primarily engaged in the production, grading, packing, marketing and sale of fresh shell eggs, including conventional, cage-free, organic, pasture-raised, free-range and nutritionally enhanced eggs. The company is the largest producer and distributor of fresh shell eggs in the United States and sells the majority of its shell eggs in states across the southwestern, southeastern, mid-western and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.