Koch Foods, the fifth largest poultry processor in the US, and Joseph Grendys, its Chairman, CEO and President, have made an enormous fortune on the slaughter of chickens.
Meanwhile there is a perfect storm brewing. Bird flu continues to spiral out of control in the commercial chicken, turkey and egg industries, resulting in 38 million birds (and counting) being brutally killed using Ventilation Shutdown. Inflation and the war in Ukraine is causing feed and fuel prices to spike food prices, cause major industry disruption. Animal agriculture is finally becoming recognized as a primary cause of the climate crisis. And yet, Grendys is now thinking of expanding his empire to include “other proteins.”
We are launching a new campaign that strives to hold Koch Foods accountable and apply the pressure needed for them to chance their business model. Here are 10 key facts that we’ve learned about Grendys and Koch Foods up to now that you should know:
10 FACTS ABOUT KOCH FOODS AND JOSEPH GRENDYS
“We like producing cheap. That’s what our company stands for.” Joseph Grendys
- Joseph Grendys, Chairman, CEO and President of Koch Foods, ranks #389 on Forbes’ list of the 400 richest Americans, with a net worth of $3.3 billion.
- Koch slaughters more than 12 million chickens per week and contracts with up to 5,000 chicken farmers at any given time, making Koch the country’s fifth-largest chicken meat producer with an estimated $3.9 billion in annual revenue.
- In 1985, Koch Foods started as a one-room chicken processing operation with 13 employees. Since 1992 Grendys has vertically integrated the company by buying up smaller feed mills and slaughterhouses.
- “Grendys has spent years pulling in sky-high profits, and even during the worst inflation in 40 years, Koch Foods is able to report record sales volumes weekly. In fact, Grendys complains that demand is so high that Koch can’t keep up.” — Chloe Sorvino
- In 2022 Koch and other major chicken meat producers were hit with a third antitrust lawsuit for alleged price fixing. In previous lawsuits, retailers allege that Koch and others schemed to fix the price of chickens by “destroying their own breeder hens and eggs to thwart production, resulting in a roughly 50 percent price increase.”
- In 2018, Koch Foods settled a class employment discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to the tune of almost $4 million. The EEOC charged the company with sexual harassment, national origin and race discrimination as well as retaliation against a class of Hispanic workers at Koch’s Morton, Miss., chicken processing plant.
- Koch has a substantial history of citations for violations against them, primarily for employment, public health and safety, financial and environmental offenses that resulted in millions of dollars in fines, according to Violationtracker.
- “Chicken” is actually the bodies of chicks rapidly fattened to adult weight in just 6-weeks. A 2014, Mercy for Animals investigation exposed chicks at a Koch facility being violently slammed into transport crates and having their legs and wings broken before being electrocuted and then scalded alive.
- Koch is a key supplier for Chick-fil-A, according to Mercy for Animals.
- Last Chance for Animals also released its undercover investigation in 2015, filmed at a Koch facility.