Pilgrim’s Pride fiesty when it’s down

You wouldn’t think that Texas-based Pilgrim’s Pride, known as the world’s largest chicken processor, had a lot of choice as it sheds assets in an attempt to stay afloat. Chief Executive Officer Don Jackson showed otherwise.

Pilgrim’s announced on Feb. 28 that it would shut down three plants, among them one employing 1,300 in Farmerville, La. Within days, California-based Foster Farms offered $20 million for the plant, and Louisiana backed it with another $20 million. Pilgrim’s Jackson refused the offer, saying that the sale would put Foster in the chicken business for a lower investment than Pilgrim’s and the rest of the industry could compete with. Furthermore, the problem of too many plants and too few chickens would remain unresolved.

Better Farming - May 2009