January 8, 2021


Peco Foods shifts operations towards value-added poultry processing


US poultry processor Peco Foods announced January 7 that it will shut processing and live operations in three Mississippi locations: Brooksville, Canton (Fulton Street) and Philadelphia (hatchery), Talk Business & Politics reported. The company plans to expand operations at West Point and Sebastopol, Mississippi facilities, and in Pocahontas, Arkansas.

The latter are equipped for expansion into value-added product lines to meet growing demands for customer-driven, innovative foods. The repositioning takes industry trends into account, shifting production based on customer feedback and consumer habits, Peco officials said.

Peco will attempt to provide workers new positions within the company, if possible. The company did not say how many workers could be impacted or how much the change in operations might cost.

"Since Peco's beginnings as a family-owned company 83 years ago, the industry has drastically shifted," says Peco Foods chief operating officer Bill Griffith. "By streamlining our operations, we can continue building a sustainable company that will support the families and communities of our team members and customers for years to come. The decisions announced today - each carefully considered - will position Peco strongly for future growth and industry leadership."

"By growing strategically, we can continue attracting and retaining the brightest in the industry and contributing to economic development across our footprint," adds Peco chief executive officer Mark Hickman. "We are thankful for the community support we've received over the years and look forward to impacting the region as a growing, thriving company employing thousands."

Tuscaloosa, Alabama-based Peco Foods is the eighth biggest poultry producer in the US, according to the National Poultry and Food Distributors Association. The company employs 7,000 people throughout Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi.

The poultry processing plant in Pocahontas is supported by at least 1,000 contract chicken houses.