Harris Farms, Inc. has sold its beef division to Hanford-based Central Valley Meat Company, Inc.
The deal, announced today, takes effect immediately. But while the two businesses will be under one company, Harris Ranch Beef Holding will continue raising, processing and selling beef to grocery stores and restaurants under the Harris Ranch brand and be run by most of its pre-sale employees and management, essentially operating separate from Central Valley Meat’s operations.
One exception is that Dave Wood, chairman of Harris Ranch’s beef operations, is leaving that role and staying with Harris Farms.
Despite working separately, the deal makes the combined businesses the seventh largest beef packer and processing company in the U.S., according to a joint press release.
A Harris Ranch spokeswoman said Harris Farms owner John Harris, whose parents started the business in the 1930s, hasn’t disclosed why he put the meat division that started the company up for sale, nor would she disclose the selling price.
Harris Farms is one of Fresno County’s largest employers, with about 2,500 workers. Company officials didn’t disclose how many would become CVM employees or if any jobs would be eliminated or added as a result of the sale. Of CVM CEO Brian Coelho, John Harris said in the press release, “Brian has a proven track record of growing businesses, and under his leadership Harris Ranch Beef can continue its long and storied legacy.
“Brian and the Central Valley Meat Company team share our view that employees are our company’s most valuable asset and that customers should be treated as partners, if not as family”
“We have known and respected John Harris and Harris Ranch Beef for decades, and I am pleased to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to continue the business’ family-owned legacy and pursue its tremendous potential for growth here in the Central Valley,” wrote Coelho, whose father founded his company in 1993.
“While Central Valley Meat Company and Harris Ranch Beef will continue to operate independently, I expect both businesses and their respective customers to benefit from the companies’ shared knowledge, extensive resources and expanded product offering.”
Harris Beef Company’s website states the company generates sales of about $400 million annually.
The sale also includes Harris Feeding Company, which supplies feed for the cattle the company raises. It operates a nearly 800-acre feed lot near Coalinga with capacity to feed up to 250,000 cattle annually.
The sale doesn’t include Harris’ other divisions involved in farming and raising horses. Also unaffected is Harris Farms’ Hospitality Division, which includes the Harris Ranch Inn and Restaurant off Interstate 5 in the Coalinga area.