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

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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.

    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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    25 COMMENTS

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

      • 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.

          • 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.

    3. 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!

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

    6. 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!

    7. 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

    8. 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.

    9. 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.

    10. 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!!

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