ProEgg Established for Western States


Eight egg producers have established a farmer cooperative conforming to the Capper-Volstead Act allowing limited exemptions from antitrust legislation. The intent of ProEgg is to distribute product in thirteen western states with the apparent objective of stabilizing egg supply.  The members of ProEgg include Cal-Maine Foods Inc; Central Valley Eggs LLC; Colorado Egg LLC; Hickmans Egg Ranch Inc; Oakdell Egg Farms Inc; Opal Foods LLC; Ritewood Inc; and Willamette Egg Farms LLC.


Ric Herrera, an egg industry veteran, will manage the cooperative as CEO.  Herrera stated, "combining production under the cooperative umbrella will promote stability within the egg supply chain, create contingencies to avoid supply disruption, develop sustainable logistics and maximize the available egg volume in the region".  ProEgg will operate from a warehouse in Aurora, CO. to provide retail and food service shell egg customers with supply and service.


It is possible that the cooperative was created to counter the buying power of large chains leveraging the industry benchmark price. The proposed acquisition of Albertsons by the Kroger Company adds to the recent trend and probably expedited the formation of ProEgg.


 It is not unlikely that legal challenges will be mounted against the cooperative but all the participants are producers and past experience must have guided the structuring of the agreement to establish the enterprise. Operation of the cooperative under the Capper-Volstead Act will have to be tightly constrained to avoid intervention by the federal antitrust agency and the Secretary of Agriculture.