Sanderson Farms, Inc. recently reported that it continues to assess damage to its North Carolina assets and live production infrastructure caused by Hurricane Florence.
The Company is pleased to report that it has still received no report of serious injuries or loss of life among its employees and growers. However, many employees and growers have lost homes and property, and in some cases are being housed in shelters.
Sanderson Farms will continue to do whatever possible to help those who have been displaced. While the company is pleased its employees and growers have remained safe, the company deeply regrets the loss of animals under its care. Although the company and family farmers who care for its chickens did everything possible to prevent the loss of birds, the unprecedented rainfall from Hurricane Florence caused serious flooding that affected the company’s live grow out operations.
“I continue to be pleased that our people remained safe during this catastrophic storm,” said Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Sanderson Farms, Inc. “Those who have been displaced, lost their homes or had their lives disrupted will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers, and we will do whatever we can to help them recover from this storm. Everyone at Sanderson Farms is deeply saddened by the loss of live birds, whose well-being has been entrusted to our care, especially our farmers and live production employees who care for our birds on a daily basis. We take very seriously our responsibility for the well-being of the animals we raise, and we will continue to do everything we can to protect those birds still threatened by rising flood waters.”
As earlier reported, the company did not experience any significant damage to either of its processing facilities, feed mill or hatcheries in North Carolina. The Kinston, North Carolina, processing plant resumed one shift of operations on Tuesday, September 18, 2018.
Many roadways in and around Lumberton and St. Pauls, North Carolina, remain impassable and are closed, and local streams and rivers are expected to crest later this week. The company will resume operations at its St. Pauls processing plant once it is safe for employees to navigate roads and highways.
The company continues to assess the extent of damage to its independent contract farms and the loss of live birds. Current information indicates that 70 broiler houses out of 880 in North Carolina have flooded. Those farms housed 2.1 million chickens. Of that number, 1.35 million were in the company’s St. Pauls, North Carolina, big bird deboning division, and 755,000 birds were associated with the Kinston, North Carolina, tray pack division.
The company has been able to reach most of the farms previously isolated by flood waters to ensure adequate care and feed is available to the chickens on those farms.
Electrical power continues to be restored at a steady pace, and the company believes power will be fully restored to all of its independent farms in short order.
Sanderson Farms, Inc. is engaged in the production, processing, marketing and distribution of fresh, frozen and minimally prepared chicken.