Growth Strategy & Acquisitions
For many years, we have pursued a growth strategy focused on the acquisition of existing shell egg production and processing facilities, as well as the construction of new and more efficient facilities. Since the beginning of fiscal 1989, we have completed 21 acquisitions. In addition, we have built numerous “in-line” shell egg production and processing facilities as well as pullet growing facilities which added to our capacity. This growth has allowed us to more effectively retire older and less efficient facilities without losing production capacity. The “in-line” facilities provide gathering, grading and packaging of shell eggs by less labor-intensive, more efficient, mechanical means. We continue to upgrade and modify our facilities, and invest in new facilities, to meet changing demand as many food service customers, restaurant chains, and retailers have committed to exclusive offerings of cage-free eggs over the next several years.
The construction of new, more efficient production and processing facilities is also an integral part of our growth strategy. Such construction requires compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations, including the receipt of permits that could cause schedule delays, although we have not experienced any significant delays in the past.
Our total flock, including pullets, layers and breeders increased from approximately 40.8 million at the end of fiscal 2014 to approximately 45.6 million as of June 1, 2019. The dozens of shell eggs sold increased from approximately 1,013.7 million in fiscal 2014 to approximately 1,038.9 million for fiscal 2019.
We continue to pursue opportunities to acquire companies engaged in the production and sale of shell eggs. We will continue to evaluate and selectively pursue acquisitions that will expand our shell egg production capabilities in existing markets and broaden our geographic reach. We have extensive experience identifying, valuing, executing, and integrating acquisitions and we intend to leverage that experience in the evaluation and execution of future acquisitions. We will seek to acquire regional shell egg businesses with significant market share and long-standing customer relationships. We believe enhancing our national presence will help us further strengthen our relationships with existing customers, many of whom have operations across the U.S.