Family-owned natural and organic chicken pioneer Bell & Evans has announced plans to build a massive 560,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art European-plus Chicken Harvesting Plant and triple production by 2020.
“This is a very exciting time for us,” said Owner Scott Sechler, in a company press release. “We’re investing a lot of time and money on innovative equipment, processes, and facilities to grow our business and fulfill our commitments to raising chickens humanely and providing healthier, more flavorful poultry to our customers. I’m excited that we can do all of this while continuing to support our local community through our growth and job creation.”
The protein provider—with customers including Whole Foods and Wegmans—recently broke ground on the facility, which is expected to be completed by early-2020. At full capacity, Bell & Evans’ new European-plus Chicken Harvesting Plant will process 2.6 million birds per week—that in addition to its existing operations which will continue processing another 1 million birds.
The company noted that its new facility—purportedly the first new chicken harvesting facility in the northeast United States in over 40 years—will continue the company’s practice of focusing on humane animal welfare. And Bell & Evans added that increased harvesting volume will align with increased operations at its new World’s First Organic Certified and Animal Welfare Focused Chicken Hatchery that began operations in August and its Packaging and Further Processing Facility, which opened in 2015.
The new Chicken Harvesting Plant will be one of several new facilities built at the 112-acre, multi-building complex in Fredericksburg. Additional operations will include a wastewater treatment plant, rendering plant, composting building, and warehousing facility. The new facility is expected to generate 1,800 full-time employment opportunities in the area.
To read more about the company’s new facility and its commitment to organic certification and animal welfare, click here to view the company’s press release in its entirety.
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