industrial organics and/or not open enough to participate
The 4‐Grain brand is owned by Cal‐Maine Foods, the largest producer and
distributor of eggs in the United States. Just like many of the other corporate
agribusinesses that have invested in organics, Cal‐Maine has created a "façade" for
marketing their eggs, 4‐Grain.
Cal‐Maine is a publicly traded corporation that is mainly involved in conventional,
caged egg production, but has in recent years grown its presence in organics. Cal‐
Maine boasts that it is “one of the largest producers and marketers of value‐added
specialty shell eggs in the United States,” with specialty sales representing 13.8% of
its shell egg sales in fiscal year 2009. Its specialty egg sales are not limited to
organic eggs but include conventional cage‐free, “all‐natural,” vegetarian and
Cal‐Maine spent half a million dollars in an effort to block animal welfare legislation
in California. They failed when voters overwhelmingly approved the Prevention of
Farm Animal Cruelty Act, which outlaws cages for laying hens.
Cal‐Maine recently financed the construction of an industrial‐scale organic laying
hen complex in Chase, Kansas.