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.