Sanderson Farms reports on impact to operations from Hurricane Florence
Sanderson Farms 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...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," Sanderson stated. 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. 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 2.1M chickens. Of that number, 1.35M 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.