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Plainville, NY - New Owners Shutting Down Kosher Turkey Farm Plant

Published on: May 5, 2010 09:21 PM
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Plainville, NY - Little more than a year after going into operations, Kosher Valley is shutting down its plant at the former Plainville Turkey Farm.

On Wednesday, Kosher Valley’s parent company, Hain Celestial, announced in a quarterly report that it had sold off the Kosher Valley brand. At 4 p.m. workers were told the plant would be shut down in a week and stay closed for six months.

They were told the Kosher Valley line would be taken over by Empire Kosher Poultry, a leader in the industry, and that another use would have to be found for the Plainville plant.

One worker said General Manager Mike Vance told employees they would be called back to work in six months.

Hain Celestial, which includes such brands as Earth’s Best baby food, Celestial Seasonings and Avalon personal care products, bought the Plainville facility from the Bitz family for $26.3 million in 2007.

Most workers were laid off in early 2009 while the plant was refurbished to handle kosher processing of chickens and turkeys. The retooling, which cost more than $1 million, was completed in March of that year.

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More than 100 people worked at the plant, workers said.

The turkey processing that had been done at the plant when it was owned by the Bitz family was moved to a turkey production facility in New Oxford, Pa. At the time of the move, the new owner said the shift would bring cost savings.

In the quarterly report, Hain Celestial said it lost about $700,000 on Kosher Valley during the first three months of 2010.



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Read Comments (25)  —  Post Yours »

1

 May 05, 2010 at 09:28 PM Anonymous Says:

This only shows there are already enough kosher schlachthoises and we don't need to be providing special zoning or waivers of the building codes for new ones. Fortunately, the most well-capitalized kosher food companies are beginning to force out the second and third-tier kosher processors who only appealed to fringe groups within the heimeshe community.

2

 May 05, 2010 at 09:32 PM Anonymous Says:

700,000 small money into lose...
Agri Star loses that money in half day!!! This is part of a investment win or lose

3

 May 05, 2010 at 09:34 PM Anonymous Says:

Empire bought them out? They just bought the Empire name from Empire National and will go into the beef business.
THis will raise prices, not lower it. You are giving more fo a monopoly to one guy, like Agri.

4

 May 05, 2010 at 09:35 PM Anonymous Says:

Mazel tov empire kosher food your hatzlucha is respect and good pay towards sochtim employment

5

 May 05, 2010 at 10:32 PM LikesGoodChicken Says:

Kosher Valley brand chicken is the best out there by far. I hope they are not getting rid of the chicken. My husband, who is not into health food at all, commented once when I used a different brand after buying KV for a few weeks. He was trying to ask politely why it did not taste as good as usual. THere is definitely a difference!

6

 May 05, 2010 at 10:51 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

This only shows there are already enough kosher schlachthoises and we don't need to be providing special zoning or waivers of the building codes for new ones. Fortunately, the most well-capitalized kosher food companies are beginning to force out the second and third-tier kosher processors who only appealed to fringe groups within the heimeshe community.

What exactly do you mean by special building codes and third tier processors for fringe groups??? I don't think having diverse kosher market is a bad idea. We already have oligopolies that control fixed high cost food pricing for kosher products. The more plants we have, the better the hope than 1 day, kosher meat will be affordable to eat.

8

 May 05, 2010 at 10:57 PM JLan Says:

Does this also apply to the chicken from this brand? That's a real shame; their stuff was always fresh and they sold in places that often didn't have other kosher poultry.

10

 May 05, 2010 at 11:04 PM Anonymous Says:

Empire is a superb brand name and produces a fine product. The kashrus is top notch as well. The only reason people don't eat empire is because their rebbes want to make money off of their own hechsheirim. The whole kashrut business is corrupt.

11

 May 05, 2010 at 11:19 PM KV Says:

Was bound to happen. These are the ones who existed in 2009/10

1. Kosher Valley
2. Marvid
3. Vineland
4. Empire
5. Agri Proc
6. Kiryas Yoel
7. Mehadrin (formerly GG)

These are the ones who existed in 2008.
1. Marvid
2. Vineland
3. Empire. They started a Mehadrin/Glat Label.
4. Agri Proc
5. Kiryas Yoel. They doubled their capacity in 2008/9.

Do you really think that the consumer base grew in 2009/10 to need this enormous increase in capacity? That's why they were selling it at below cost. One more is bound to fail and it will most likely be Vineland.

We consumers will suffer at the end of the day. Raboisai, prices are headed NORTH!

12

 May 06, 2010 at 01:30 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
KV Says:

Was bound to happen. These are the ones who existed in 2009/10

1. Kosher Valley
2. Marvid
3. Vineland
4. Empire
5. Agri Proc
6. Kiryas Yoel
7. Mehadrin (formerly GG)

These are the ones who existed in 2008.
1. Marvid
2. Vineland
3. Empire. They started a Mehadrin/Glat Label.
4. Agri Proc
5. Kiryas Yoel. They doubled their capacity in 2008/9.

Do you really think that the consumer base grew in 2009/10 to need this enormous increase in capacity? That's why they were selling it at below cost. One more is bound to fail and it will most likely be Vineland.

We consumers will suffer at the end of the day. Raboisai, prices are headed NORTH!

Their is no bound because Empire is going to replace that 30000 chicken a day.... Also hain and empire became partner its said they will flush 100 million in the market to remain exclusive

13

 May 06, 2010 at 01:35 AM Kashrus Pro Says:

Reply to #11  
KV Says:

Was bound to happen. These are the ones who existed in 2009/10

1. Kosher Valley
2. Marvid
3. Vineland
4. Empire
5. Agri Proc
6. Kiryas Yoel
7. Mehadrin (formerly GG)

These are the ones who existed in 2008.
1. Marvid
2. Vineland
3. Empire. They started a Mehadrin/Glat Label.
4. Agri Proc
5. Kiryas Yoel. They doubled their capacity in 2008/9.

Do you really think that the consumer base grew in 2009/10 to need this enormous increase in capacity? That's why they were selling it at below cost. One more is bound to fail and it will most likely be Vineland.

We consumers will suffer at the end of the day. Raboisai, prices are headed NORTH!

I dont think vineland will fail. They are there for a specific market so they should be ok.

14

 May 06, 2010 at 05:46 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
KV Says:

Was bound to happen. These are the ones who existed in 2009/10

1. Kosher Valley
2. Marvid
3. Vineland
4. Empire
5. Agri Proc
6. Kiryas Yoel
7. Mehadrin (formerly GG)

These are the ones who existed in 2008.
1. Marvid
2. Vineland
3. Empire. They started a Mehadrin/Glat Label.
4. Agri Proc
5. Kiryas Yoel. They doubled their capacity in 2008/9.

Do you really think that the consumer base grew in 2009/10 to need this enormous increase in capacity? That's why they were selling it at below cost. One more is bound to fail and it will most likely be Vineland.

We consumers will suffer at the end of the day. Raboisai, prices are headed NORTH!

You forgot David Elliot. They also produce for Wise Kosher.

As of last week. Weismandl started shechting at David Elliot, also.

The Flatbush Vaad and the Star-K did not hold by Kosher Valley, who was under Rabbi Babad. Anyone have any insight as to why?

What about a list of the Israeli plants that ship here?
Tirat Zvi
Hod Lavan
Hod Golan
Zoglobeck

15

 May 06, 2010 at 08:49 AM Anonymous Says:

ALL these hashgachot are the SAME; its only the rabbonim who make money by lending their name to the different hashgachot who make big dollars from providing the same service but at a much higher markup. These are the cause of higher prices, NOT the market. Those who drink the coolaide thinking they are getting a "more kosher" product are sadly mistaken

16

 May 06, 2010 at 09:55 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
Anonymous Says:

ALL these hashgachot are the SAME; its only the rabbonim who make money by lending their name to the different hashgachot who make big dollars from providing the same service but at a much higher markup. These are the cause of higher prices, NOT the market. Those who drink the coolaide thinking they are getting a "more kosher" product are sadly mistaken

Turkey

17

 May 06, 2010 at 11:14 AM Devorah Says:

Maybe more people will eat turkey and we won't need to open the chicken plant in New Square now.

18

 May 06, 2010 at 11:17 AM Longwave Says:

Reply to #15  
Anonymous Says:

ALL these hashgachot are the SAME; its only the rabbonim who make money by lending their name to the different hashgachot who make big dollars from providing the same service but at a much higher markup. These are the cause of higher prices, NOT the market. Those who drink the coolaide thinking they are getting a "more kosher" product are sadly mistaken

Too bad that you are correct. But no one sees it that way. The 'rebbe' said that we must eat from our own shechita, therefore everthing else is treif.

BTW - I like pomegranite flavored kool-aid

19

 May 06, 2010 at 12:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
KV Says:

Was bound to happen. These are the ones who existed in 2009/10

1. Kosher Valley
2. Marvid
3. Vineland
4. Empire
5. Agri Proc
6. Kiryas Yoel
7. Mehadrin (formerly GG)

These are the ones who existed in 2008.
1. Marvid
2. Vineland
3. Empire. They started a Mehadrin/Glat Label.
4. Agri Proc
5. Kiryas Yoel. They doubled their capacity in 2008/9.

Do you really think that the consumer base grew in 2009/10 to need this enormous increase in capacity? That's why they were selling it at below cost. One more is bound to fail and it will most likely be Vineland.

We consumers will suffer at the end of the day. Raboisai, prices are headed NORTH!

you forgot david elliot tops both in quality and kashrut

20

 May 06, 2010 at 03:02 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #13  
Kashrus Pro Says:

I dont think vineland will fail. They are there for a specific market so they should be ok.

pacific ... for whom???

21

 May 06, 2010 at 03:05 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

Mazel tov empire kosher food your hatzlucha is respect and good pay towards sochtim employment

Good pay???? Kosher valley paid their shochtim $100 a day more! I know that from personal experience! Many frum families will lose out on the real good pay they were getting from kosher valley. Kosher valley also provided quality and healthy chickens that were organic style at a price that we could afford. this is a big loss for all who really care about the community!

22

 May 06, 2010 at 02:38 PM Longwave Says:

THere is a lot more than meets the eye. According to a press release from the Hain Group, Kosher Value was sold to Empire for a seat on Empire's board.

24

 May 06, 2010 at 04:16 PM Shmuel Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

Good pay???? Kosher valley paid their shochtim $100 a day more! I know that from personal experience! Many frum families will lose out on the real good pay they were getting from kosher valley. Kosher valley also provided quality and healthy chickens that were organic style at a price that we could afford. this is a big loss for all who really care about the community!

If true, then, well, obviously the market could not support $100/day more! As for 'organic style', that's one of the most deceitful ways to make naïve people spend more money I know of.

25

 May 06, 2010 at 07:27 PM HaNavon Says:

I don't know too much about the brand, or about their marketing or their distribution, but I know why they're losing money.
They're losing money because the Charedi kashrus monopoly has used their immense power within all of the religious Jewish communities the wide world over to instill an unnecessary fear into the hearts of their congregants, to the point where people are so terrified of things unseen and unknown, that that which is allowed becomes strictly forbidden.
The kashrus industry has paraded around as the champions of the Jewish people, hidden under the patchworked costume of non-profit organizations and Torah institutions, sown with the thread of thievery and have duped us all into thinking that they were out for the spread of Torah ethics by acting as the agent of assurances that our food is produced under the standard of Torah law prescribed by the Shulchan Aruch, when in fact they are worked weary from the tireless task of convincing us that we have to live up to a higher standard than even that which the Torah requires of us, in order to line their own pockets with the misappropriated money of the masses.

26

 May 06, 2010 at 10:28 PM Anonymous Says:

Seems that there were some tikunim for nitzotzos to be made up there in those mountains, they built a mikva-tahara, & a shul, for the shochtim, and after the tikunim were made it was time to just move on!!

27

 May 07, 2010 at 02:46 AM Chuchom Says:

Reply to #14  
Anonymous Says:

You forgot David Elliot. They also produce for Wise Kosher.

As of last week. Weismandl started shechting at David Elliot, also.

The Flatbush Vaad and the Star-K did not hold by Kosher Valley, who was under Rabbi Babad. Anyone have any insight as to why?

What about a list of the Israeli plants that ship here?
Tirat Zvi
Hod Lavan
Hod Golan
Zoglobeck

Yes, I do

Because of cheap politics.

28

 May 07, 2010 at 02:52 AM Chuchom Says:

Reply to #24  
Shmuel Says:

If true, then, well, obviously the market could not support $100/day more! As for 'organic style', that's one of the most deceitful ways to make naïve people spend more money I know of.

Wrong on both.

I dont have time to go into this at length, but the reason for them not making money has nothing to do with what they paid the shochtim & mashgichim, but with poor management on site, and poor sales efforts in the field.

Their chickens were raised in a much healthier way than the others. I have seen both.

29

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