Sanderson Farms backs out of proposed N.C. plant

November 20, 2012
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LAUREL, Miss. — Sanderson Farms Inc. has announced that Nash County, North Carolina, will not be the site for a new poultry processing complex.

The company said on its website Nov. 13 that the decision was made in collaboration with Nash County officials and is a result of “various timing issues.” The statement said the decision will not affect the timing of its next poultry complex.

Nash County Commissioner Robbie Davis pointed to legal challenges that wouldn’t allow the company to meet its schedule without a potential delay. Davis was involved in recruiting the company to the county.

The city of Wilson and concerned landowners sued the county to try to block the plant, but a court rejected the challenge. Wilson Mayor Bruce Rose called the decision not to locate in Nash County good news.

Davis said, “While we are disappointed that Nash County will no longer be considered for this project, we understand the need for certainty with respect to Sanderson Farms’ ability to move forward with construction in a timely manner once the other contingencies are met. Unfortunately, various legal challenges will not allow us to meet Sanderson Farms’ schedule without the possibility of delay. We are grateful for the very professional manner in which Sanderson Farms has negotiated with our board and staff during the entire process.”

Joe F. Sanderson Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Sanderson Farms Inc., said, “We very much appreciate the hard work of everyone in Nash County who worked diligently to recruit us to the area. We also appreciate the support of the local community and the business and political leaders who welcomed us to Nash County. We remain committed to our growth strategy and, toward that end, have been evaluating and will continue to pursue alternative locations that will enable us to continue our pattern of steady growth as market conditions allow. Today’s announcement will affect the location, but not the timing, of the next poultry complex for Sanderson Farms.”

Sanderson Farms, Inc. is engaged in the production, processing, marketing and distribution of fresh and frozen chicken and other prepared food items. Its shares trade on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol SAFM.

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