The largest national pasture-raised egg supplier has built a new home in Springfield.
Vital Farms, based in Austin, Texas, has finished building an 82,000 square foot processing plant called “Egg Central Station,” on the northwest side of Springfield.
The completion of the plant was celebrated at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday.
In choosing Springfield for the plant, President and Chief Operating Officer Russell Diez-Canseco tells KSMU that officials were excited to work alongside the area’s small family farmers.
"So as we grew our base of farmers throughout Missouri and Arkansas, and found the need for our own processing plant, we decided it makes sense to plant that right in the middle of that network of farms and that happens to be right here in Springfield,” says Diez-Canseco.
The company’s quality assurance team had been researching the site since 2014 to insure above average quality, food safety, and environmental sustainability, according to Diez Canseco.
Vital Farms says it does not use chemicals on its products, with a goal of natural farming and processing systems. To do this for egg processing, each bird is given 108 square feet to roam, and are rotated to facilitate the natural upkeep and regeneration of the land without chemical usage.
“At Vital Farms our mission is to bring ethical food to the table,” Diez-Canseco said. “We started with eggs, we’ve continued into butter and the reality is there will probably be more products along the way.”
Matt Morrow, president of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, said Vital Farms’ move to the city will bring economic favor with an increase in jobs. In a news release, the Chamber said the company created more than 50 jobs with the new plant. The move will also be an example to other companies, Morrow said, that Springfield is a contender as a hub for business and economic growth.
“This is one of the things that I think is going to be really exciting for our community — to get to know Vital Farms.”
Morrow said Vital Farms has already helped the community by donating eggs to Ozarks Food Harvest before even opening the processing plant. Ozarks Food Harvest confirmed to KSMU that Vital Farms has donated almost 8 million eggs in the last year.