Allen Harim, Seaford, Del., announced plans to consolidate its processing operation into one central location, leading to the closure of a plant in Cordova, Md., in July. The closure will impact approximately 300 employees.

According to Steve Evans, chief executive officer, a combination of factors contributed to the decision, including the age of the facility, a shift in the company's product mix and a desire to improve the company's competitive position to assure greater efficiency.

"We are very grateful to our Cordova-based employees, some of whom have been with us for a very long time," says Evans. "We will do everything possible to help them continue their employment with us, or to help them find other opportunities."

Much of the processing equipment will be moved to the company's Harbeson, Del., facility in the coming months.

"We've worked very hard over the past three years to take this company in a new and focused direction and to return it to a profitable operation that will continue to grow and employ people on Delmarva," Evans adds. "We are following a strategic plan that achieves our goal of a sustainable company moving forward."

The Cordova processing facility was built in 1945 by Cordova Poultry Co. and purchased by the former Allen Family Foods in 1971. It was later owned by Esskay, and then leased to Ralston-Purina. In the last two decades, it has processed about 600,000 chickens a week, primarily rotisserie chicken and whole bird packaging, for markets in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.