The Allen Harim Foods company announced plans today to buy the former Vlasic processing facility in Millsboro and invest about $100 million at the facility.
That investment would transform the site into a state of the art poultry processing, cut-up and cooking operation that is expected to employ 700 people.
“The new facility will expand our processing capacity, allow us to introduce new products and hire more employees,” says Allen Harim’s CEO Gary Gladys. “This will have a significant economic impact in Delaware, and serve as a symbol of our deep commitment to the United States market.”
The new processing facility is expected to be up and running by November 2014.
Allen Harim already operates chicken processing facilities in Harbeson, Delaware and Cordova, Maryland. The company already has about 1,400 employees, in addition to 270 independent growers and 25 company-owned farms. Allen Harem purchased the former Allen Family Foods in September 2011.
“This decision strengthens Harim’s commitment to Delaware, and it helps many Delawareans in Sussex County who want to work for this growing company,” said Governor Jack Markell. “Our poultry growers will have more opportunity; our workers will have more jobs and our state will sell more chicken, helping cement Sussex County’s position as the No. 1 broiler-producing county in the nation.”
Chickens are big business in Delaware and along the Delmarva Peninsula. In 2010, Delaware produced 1.6 billion pounds of broiler chickens. The total value of chickens raised that year in the state was $786 million.