Wilcox Family Farms to Close Roy Dairy Facility,
Plans to Expand Organic and Cage-Free Egg Product Lines
“Wilcox Family Farms announced today [Feb 5] that it will close its Roy, Wash. dairy facility and sell selected assets associated with the Roy operation. This decision does not affect the companys facility in Eastern Washington, located in Cheney, which will remain open. Wilcox will continue to maintain dairy deliveries and operate their milk plant in Roy through March 2008, and has been working with Darigold to assist in customer transitions. Through the transition, Wilcox will continue to serve their network of distributors, including Springbrook Farms. Wilcox family members attributed the decision to increasingly higher costs to do business in the dairy industry.
The sale does not affect Wilcox Family Farms egg division; in fact, the family will continue its 100 year-old egg operation and plans to focus their resources on expanding their natural, organic and cage-free egg products produced on their 1,500 acre farm in Roy.
According to family members, dairy processing has become dominated by large businesses and has not been a profitable venture for the Wilcox family for several years, particularly in Western Washington. In addition, by closing the Roy facility now, the company will be able to focus more of its resources on the opportunities in organic, cage-free and other egg products. This transition will allow the family to expand their emphasis on local, natural products that come from their own farm.
Closing the Roy operation was not an easy decision for the company.
‘This was a very difficult choice because our staff is like family,’ says Jim Wilcox.
Many employees have been with us for two, or even three, generations. But its important to make the right business and value choices and maintain the operations that have the best future opportunities. We want to get out of the big company environment and back into real family farming. We will continue to be in the organic and natural egg business and will go forward looking at new products, focusing on local food for local people.’
The company is committed to doing everything it can to assist displaced workers in finding employment. Many Roy dairy employees will be recruited into the egg division. In addition, the company will offer outplacement services, including on-site interviews conducted by other employers and professional assistance with interviewing skills and resume-building.
In an age where farms are disappearing, Wilcox wants to be clear that the operation in Roy will remain just that farmland.
‘We want to become the premier organic and natural egg brand for consumers that care about fresh, healthy egg products and maintaining family agriculture in the Puget Sound area and beyond,’ Wilcox says. ‘We are very excited about the opportunities we have to expand our organic and cage-free egg business. It feels great to see animals out on the land where they belong.’
A family-owned business, Wilcox Family Farms was started in Roy, Wash. in 1909 by Judson and Betty Wilcox and is now managed by their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The company operates two egg production facilities in Roy and Aurora, Ore. and is one of the leading egg producers in the Northwest. In addition to shell eggs, Wilcox also provides liquid eggs to food retailers, bakeries and food service operations. For more information about Wilcox Family Farms, visit www.wilcoxfarms.com,” quoting their Press Release.
The Olympian reports in today’s edition that Wilcox Farms will “lay off nearly half of the company’s 365 employees, a spokeswoman for the company said Tuesday.”
[ED. NOTE: THIS HAD TO BE A GUT-WRENCHING DECISION FOR THE WILCOX FAMILY.
GREAT PEOPLE BEING GRAND STEWARDS OF THE LAND AND PROVIDING QUALITY ORGANIC PRODUCTS FOR THE NISQUALLY VALLEY AND BEYOND! PLUS, THE WILCOX FAMILY OF EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN VERY INVOLVED AND GENEROUS IN OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY.
THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG WISHES THE WILCOX FAMILY AND THEIR STAFF AND FAMILIES WELL IN THEIR TRANSITION!]