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News and analysis on the global poultry
and animal feed industries.
Poultry Processing & Slaughter
on February 2, 2011

Iowa's Custom Poultry Processing plant closes, looks for buyer

Involuntary bankruptcy attributed to plant closing, says company

Custom Poultry Processing of Charles City, Iowa, has closed its processing facility and laid off 125 employees. A statement from the company said cost overruns and delays cost it more than planned, but that "shutting down the facility was a drastic measure," and it is looking to re-open.

The 65,000-square-foot facility opened in December 2010, and Jan. 21 the company underwent an involuntary bankruptcy filing by three unsecured creditors.

“If we can get something in place quickly, the employees can go back to work, we can fulfill the agreements we had in place with customers, and the birds at our growers farms can be put to good use,” said Greg DeWeese, Custom Poultry Processing’s president.

Suppliers have stopped providing birds to the company, citing concerns about the processor’s financial position.

The company is working with Equity Partners Inc., a firm that works to save struggling companies, to possibly secure new money or a buyer.

The company also is receiving local support. “The facility is an important economic driver in Charles City and in Iowa for that matter,” said Tim Fox, executive director of the Charles City Development Corporation. Fox pledged the group's support to the processor.

Custom Poultry Processing has the capability to serve the following market niches: antibiotic- free, organic, natural, Hallal and Asian-style chicken. 

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