Simply Essentials, LLC, Overland Park, Kan., purchased the Cedar River Poultry chicken processing plant in Charles City, Iowa, and announced plans to invest more than $30 million to reopen it in the fall. Once open, the state-of-the-art, innovative chicken processing plant will produce high-quality, premium chicken products.

Simply Essentials chicken is said to be the first chicken to feature the flavor and health benefits derived from Simply Essentials’ proprietary flax seed diet. Additionally, the plant is being designed with air chilled processing technology, an innovative process that uses cold air to individually chill the chicken throughout the process instead of conventional processing that chills the birds in a common bath of chlorine water.

“Simply Essentials is building a facility with unparalleled levels of technology, efficiency, sustainability, safety and animal welfare. This will result in a better tasting, healthier end product for sure, but the plant is being designed to be safer for plant workers and will require far fewer natural resources to run the plant because of its unique processing design,” says Dennis Krause, chief executive officer. “Our Charles City facility will be the industry leader for chicken produced to meet consumer desires for a healthier raised and better tasting product. We are excited about this product expansion, and we intend to be a solid corporate citizen to the city of Charles City and the surrounding communities.”

Simply Essentials also partnered with Prairie’s Best Farms, Charles City, Iowa, as their local grower partner. Prairie’s Best maintains extensive knowledge of local chicken producers throughout the region, and will be recruiting local partners to become contract growers.

“This is absolutely great news for the Iowa farmers,” says George Peichel, chief executive officer of Prairie’s Best. “Making this kind of commitment to the community really means a lot and brings chicken processing in Iowa to a whole new level of sophistication, as we build an extensive grower network to support Simply Essentials’ plant to produce healthier, antibiotic, humanely raised chicken that tastes great.”