Wayne Farms is fulfilling its promise to “make chicken amazing” through increased investment, diversification and product innovation.

“Our vision statement is the be the amazing chicken company recognized as a partner of choice by our employees, our communities, our customers and our growers,” said Clint Rivers, Wayne Farms president and chief executive officer, in Meatingplace’s October 2019 cover story. “We don’t want to leave our any part of our business and it’s a company-wide effort.”

Since Rivers became CEO of Wayne Farms in 2017, the company has increased the pace of its investments.

“In total, we’ve put over $300 million in South Alabama in the last few years,” Rivers said. “The feed mill [in Ozark, AL] was a big project. We spent about $54 million there, and we spent about $60 million expanding and putting in a second processing line at the Dothan plant.” Wayne Farms also invested about $118 million in its Enterprise processing plant in Jack, AL. The expansion included controlled atmospheric stunning (CAS) and a fully automated processing line, bringing the total number of production lines to three.

“Our business has changed a lot from being primarily a commodity business with mainly big bird operations,” Rivers said. “We wanted to grow as a company, and so over the last few years, we’ve expanded and diversified our business, which now includes small bird production.”

In addition to expansion, Wayne Farms has launched two all-natural premium chicken brands under its own label – a first for the company. The Naked Truth Premium Chicken line is Wayne Farms’ first consumer-branded retail product.

In August, the company launched its second company-labeled brand, Ladybird. The line is a smaller-sized bird that is aged on the bone before processing to yield improved tenderness and ease of portioning.

Ultimately, the company’s goal is to continue to grow the business by making sure that product quality remains high, customer expectations are exceeded and that good working relationships with employees, growers and communities in which operations are located are nurtured and maintained.

“Say a person tells you, ‘I work at Wayne Farms, and it’s an amazing company to work for,’ or a customer says, ‘I bought a product from Wayne Farms, they’re an amazing company,’” Rivers said. “Or a mayor says, ‘We have a Wayne Farms plant in our town, they’re an amazing company.’ We want to know, what we would have to be doing to have that employee or customer or community leader say that about us? And then we want to continue to aspire to do those things at all levels [and] work at being amazing in everything that we’re doing. That’s what will ensure that we can grow our business, and be competitive and successful over the long haul.”