Empire Kosher Poultry to Double Weekly Capacity

US - Empire Kosher Poultry has announced a new production line, which will double its chicken output.
calendar icon 3 July 2009
clock icon 4 minute read

Empire Kosher Poultry, based in Mifflintown, Pennsylvania, has announced plans to significantly increase its Kosher chicken capacity in time for the High Holiday peak demand period. Empire Kosher's addition of a new, high-speed evisceration line will more than double its capacity.

Empire's regularly scheduled non-holiday production capacity is approximately 225,000 chickens per week, with a peak holiday production capacity of approximately 350,000 chickens per week.

With the addition of the new line, Empire's regular capacity will expand to more than 500,000 chickens per week and almost 800,000 chickens per week at peak times.

Greg Rosenbaum, CEO of Empire, stated: "With our expansion, we believe Empire's capacity will equal or exceed the combined production of Empire and its largest competitor prior to May 2008. Our intent is to assure Kosher consumers that there will be adequate supplies of Kosher chicken in the market at all times. This will particularly impact the peak holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Passover, when we expect Empire's new capacity to prevent the shortages that have historically plagued the industry. Kosher poultry is our business, and we are committed to helping all Kosher consumers who want to serve a holiday poultry meal to do so."

Empire, working with a large international supplier of poultry factory equipment, made proprietary changes to a state of the art chicken line. This proprietary design smoothly integrates Kosher slaughter and Rabbinical inspection with the highest speed equipment permitted in United States poultry plants by the Department of Agriculture. Empire has the exclusive right to use the equipment in the Kosher poultry industry for at least three years.

Responding to poultry shortages caused by the bankruptcy of a competitor, last November Empire announced that it would increase its chicken capacity by 50 per cent to ensure uninterrupted supplies of Kosher poultry. That capacity expansion was accomplished by altering production schedules and the use of labour overtime. The new line allows Empire to produce more Kosher poultry while returning to regular production schedules.

Mr Rosenbaum continued: "We could not have supplied the market with sufficient poultry at Passover without the cooperation and dedication of our union workers and the skill of our Rabbinic workforce. Our union workers, our union, our Rabbis and our supervising Kashrus agencies have worked with us from the very beginning of this project in order to make this expansion seamless.

"This additional capacity fits our commitment at Empire to build the nation's finest producer of Kosher poultry products, maintaining the highest standards of Kashrus, food safety, animal welfare, worker conditions and customer service, not to mention product quality and superior taste. Empire also remains committed to being a good corporate citizen."

Empire has a record of making charitable poultry donations, including its donation earlier this year of 25 tons of Kosher poultry to food banks in New York City operated by the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty.

Empire Kosher Poultry, Inc. is the largest Kosher poultry producer in the United States. With facilities in central Pennsylvania, Empire produces Kosher chickens and Kosher turkeys for the North American market through a fully integrated process, including breeder farms, egg hatcheries, feed mill, grow out houses and processing facilities.

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