Allen Harim Foods Consolidating Operations, Closing Cordova Proc - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Allen Harim Foods Consolidating Operations, Closing Cordova Processing Plant

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Allen Harim Foods' poultry processing plant in Cordova, Md. (Photo: WBOC) Allen Harim Foods' poultry processing plant in Cordova, Md. (Photo: WBOC)

SEAFORD, Del.- Allen Harim Foods announced Tuesday that it will consolidate its poultry processing operation to one central location, leading to the closure of its processing plant in Cordova, Md. in July.

Company officials said the closure will impact approximately 300 employees at that facility, who will be offered jobs at the company’s other locations including a hatchery, feed mill and truck shop in Seaford, Del., a hatchery in Dagsboro, Del. and main processing facility in Harbeson, Del.

Allen Harim CEO Steve Evans said a combination of factors contributed to the decision, including the age of the facility, a shift in the company’s product mix and a desire to improve the company’s competitive position in order to assure greater efficiency. 

“We are very grateful to our Cordova-based employees, some of whom have been with us for a very long time,” Evans said in a statement. “We will do everything possible to help them continue their employment with us, or to help them find other opportunities.”

Evans said that the company's strategic plan called for the production of 1.8 million chickens per week, by the end of 2017. He said the Harbeson location was more conducive to this goal. 

"For the product mix and portfolio we want to make," he said. "Harbeson, Del. had more square footage, and a younger facility. So we invested more there." 

Employees were notified Tuesday of the plans, according to Allen Harim officials, who said the company's human resources department will coordinate with state and local officials to leverage all available resources to assist employees. Allen Harim plans to open an on-site career center to help employees during this transition, company officials said. 

Members of the Talbot County Council were understandably upset about the decision. 

"Of course we're not happy," said Council President Corey Pack. "Anytime you have an employer of that size leaving your boundaries, it's not a good time."

Although many of the workers will find jobs at the other facilities, Pack said that it was a priority to provide for the others. 

"We're going to work to make sure that the workers that are left behind," he said. "That are not moving to the Delaware plan, will be provided for." 

In the village of Cordova, many expressed disappointment to WBOC, including Mary Dawson, whose family is rooted in the small community. 

"I cried when I saw it on my text message," she said of her son telling her about the closing. "We're sad that it's happening because there's a lot of local people and families members - you know - that work down there, have worked down there, and young ones that might work down there."

Much of the processing equipment will be moved to Allen Harim's Harbeson facility in the coming months, company officials said. 

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