State’s largest egg farm invests in cage-free production to meet regional demand
CANBY, Ore. – February 2013 – Willamette Egg Farms, the state’s largest egg producer, has committed to doubling its cage-free production in 2013. By mid-year, cage-free production will account for 8 percent of the company’s total production. In comparison, national cage-free production represented just 5.7 percent of the total U.S. egg industry in 2012, according to the American Egg Board.
To make way for this increased production, the family-owned farm recently completed construction on one of two new cage-free hen houses, which together will house approximately 80,000 hens. The buildings are an advanced style of cage-free housing, equipped with energy saving measures such as LED lighting.
As major national grocery retailers, restaurant chains and foodservice companies have recently committed to purchasing more cage-free eggs, Willamette anticipates increased regional demand as well.
“Building the new housing and increasing our cage-free flock to this degree is a significant investment,” said Greg Satrum, third-generation co-owner of Willamette Egg Farms. “We wanted to be proactive and get ahead of the curve, to be able to meet both the industrial and consumer demand in the years ahead.”
Modernizing hen housing has been a top priority for the company in recent years. Satrum, named Agriculturalist of the Year by the Agri-Business Council of Oregon for his industry leadership, worked with Oregon legislators in 2011 to help shape Senate Bill 805, which requires Oregon egg farms to transition to American Humane Association-endorsed enriched colony housing by 2026. Now, the company is closely watching and supporting national efforts to legislate similar, comprehensive hen welfare standards throughout the United States.
About Willamette Egg Farms
Willamette Egg Farms is a third-generation, family-owned farm committed to quality and community. For more than 75 years, the company has been providing fresh, nutritious eggs to the Pacific Northwest. As a sustainable business, Willamette Egg Farms is leading the way in creating healthy hen living environments, minimizing environmental impact, improving the well-being of workers and remaining an economically viable partner in the community. Today, Willamette Egg Farms is proud to offer a variety of eggs and egg products from its farms located in Canby, Ore. and Moses Lake, Wash. For more information, visit www.willametteegg.com.