Austin, Texas-based Vital Farms’ Egg Central Station has been named as Food Processing’s “Green Plant of the Year 2022.”
The egg station is in Springfield, Missouri, less than a day’s drive from its more than 300 family farms to shrink the footprint for the eggs’ journey from the barn. Employees help grade, wash and pack up to six million eggs a day at ECS before shipping the fragile cargo to thousands of grocery shelves and foodservice operators across the country.
Vital Farms’ prioritized technologies like energy-efficient lights and a reusable water filtration system in the initial building in 2017. New features like retention ponds that recycle rainwater and solar panels that reduce electricity use were added in its recent expansion. Natural landscaping preserves plants native to the Ozarks and fosters soil health, eliminating the need for an irrigation system.
“We’re proud to share this award with the Springfield community and our crew members, who have been vital collaborators and supporters since day one,” the company said in a statement. “Without them, this award wouldn’t be possible. We hope this recognition inspires others to consider sustainable manufacturing design solutions to help protect the earth for future generations.”
Read Vital Farms’ award profile featuring an interview with Carl Kicklighter, director of plant operations, in Food Processing’s October issue here.
Started on a single farm in Austin, Texas, in 2007, Vital Farms is a national consumer brand that works with more than 300 small family farms. Vital Farms’ ethics are exemplified by its focus on the humane treatment of farm animals and sustainable farming practices.
Vital Farms’ products, including shell eggs, butter, hard-boiled eggs, ghee and liquid whole eggs, are sold in more than 21,500 stores nationwide. Its pasture-raised eggs can also be found on menus at hundreds of foodservice operators across the country.
To learn more about Vital Farms, visit vitalfarms.com.