A proposal to convert a former Pinnacle Foods pickle plant in Millsboro, Del., into an Allen Harim Foods poultry facility will be considered by the Sussex County Board of Adjustment on September 23. The board will consider modifications in zoning needed to start the process to make the proposed poultry plant a reality.

"They will evaluate all of the information that they have received at this time," said Douglas Freeman, senior manager of human resources and media relations for Allen Harim Foods. "They're going to rule on the modification to the zoning from Pinnacle to Allen's."

The zoning changes are relatively small ones, Freeman said, but it is necessary for the board to have a full understanding of Allen Harim's plans for the property. The property transaction, which would give Allen Harim ownership of the 500,000-square-foot plant and the 107 acres around it, is currently in the due diligence period.

If the board approves the changes, Freeman said, that will pave the way for Allen Harim to apply for various permits regarding water treatment, transportation and other issues needed for the plant to operate.


"It's still a way down the road before the closing, but hopefully things are progressing," Freeman said.

The poultry processor has previously announced plans to have two plants in one at the Millsboro facility, using one side as a processing plant and the other as a cook plant. Allen Harim hopes to use the plant to process a special breed of small chickens used in a ginseng stew popular in Asia.

Allen Harim Foods has processing facilities in Harbeson, Del., and Cordova, Md., breeding operations in Liberty, N.C., and a hatchery, feed mill and corporate office in Seaford, Del.