Renovated chicken processing plant reopens in Harbeson

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell joined Hong-Kuk Kim, Chairman of Harim Group, and Joe Moran, CEO of Allen Harim, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday in Harbeson. (Submitted photo)

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell joined Hong-Kuk Kim, Chairman of Harim Group, and Joe Moran, CEO of Allen Harim, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday in Harbeson. (Submitted photo)

HARBESON — Allen Harim celebrated the reopening of his newly-renovated Harbeson chicken processing facility Monday.

The company has invested $30 million so far on the renovation project and expects to invest another $10 million by the close of 2017.

Hong-Kuk Kim, chairman of Harim Group, traveled from South Korea for the ceremony.

“As we grow our operations in Delaware, and expand across the United States, we remain committed to supporting both the local communities in which we operate, and the U.S. chicken industry of which we are proud to be a member,” Mr. Kim said.

In June, Allen Harim consolidated its processing operations, bringing it all under one roof at Harbeson. The move was meant to take advantage of every aspect of the newly renovated facility. Allen employs more than 1,650 people in Delaware.

“I’m pleased that Allen Harim has chosen to expand in Delaware and I’m encouraged by the positive impact it will have on job creation here at the plant and on the hundreds of family farms who supply this facility,” said Gov. Jack Markell. “This investment is a strong expression of confidence in Delaware’s workers, our vibrant agriculture community, and government and business leaders who work together to create an excellent climate for growth and opportunity.”

Upgrades were completed across nearly every aspect of the 190,000 square-foot facility.

The main entrance was renovated with a welcoming three-dimensional mural that includes a blossoming tree, embodying the translation of the Korean word “Harim” as “summer forest.”

New lighting, an upgrade of the employee cafeteria, completely new restrooms, a new human resources department area, new conference and meeting rooms, and a new employee equipment room were all added.

The plant was reconfigured to allow the installation of new equipment to meet rising customer demands. A new waste water treatment facility and the construction of a solar farm, both major steps in the company’s sustainability efforts, were central areas of the project.

“A tremendous amount of hard work has gone into the renovation of the facility, and there is no doubt that we are well-positioned for growth said Joe Moran, CEO of Allen Harim. “We are now better positioned to meet our current and future customer demands across the U.S., and we will do it more efficiently and sustainably than ever before.”

The Harbeson plant processes  230,000 chickens a day for its Nature’s Sensation and Oasis lines.

Each line includes fresh whole birds and parts, tray pack bone-in parts, and boneless chicken products.

Headquartered in Seaford, Allen Harim operates a chicken processing facility in Harbeson, Delaware; a breeding operation in Liberty, North Carolina; a hatchery in Dagsboro, Delaware, and a hatchery and feed mill in Seaford.

The company employs more than 1,750 people in the United States, as well as more than 230 independent growers and 20 company farms across Delmarva.

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