Allen Harim Foods has decided not to proceed with plans to build a poultry processing facility at a former Vlasic pickle plant in Millsboro, Delaware. The company will instead seek to lease the facility.
"Our company has a strategic plan that guides us in every decision we make, and we have concluded that our best course of action in Millsboro is to not process live chickens," Allen Harim CEO Steve Evans said in a statement. "We have retained a commercial real estate broker to help us lease the space moving forward."
The company purchased the facility from Pinnacle Foods in the fall of 2014, but its plans to build a poultry processing complex there date back to at least 2013.
At that time, Allen Harim had intended to process a smaller breed of chicken that reaches around 2 pounds during its 45-day growth cycle. The smaller chickens would be used is a popular ginseng stew. The company had stated it wanted to pursue processing its “ginseng birds” to meet a growing demand for meat from those birds as the stew is a popular Korean dish. The company further stated there are many U.S. cities with a growing Korean population, as well as many cities where the Korean influence has spread.
Since the facility was purchased, Allen Harim had used the building as a warehouse and storage location. The company stated it wants to continue to use some of the 470,000 square foot building for such purposes.
The plans for a new poultry plant had faced some local opposition, but all recent court challenges to state permits at the facility were ruled in the company’s favor.