US: Empire Kosher Poultry expands poultry lines

Empire Kosher Poultry has announced the expansion of its line of Kosher chicken and turkey products to include Organic and Antibiotic Free ("ABF") poultry, along with its regular offerings.

Empire's production facility in Mifflintown, PA, received USDA Organic certification in 2008 and has been testing both ABF and Organic feeds and growing protocols for the past 18 months. With the completion of its extensive testing and test marketing, Empire is now rolling out these lines nationally.

Empire Kosher's CEO Greg Rosenbaum: "As we've seen demand for ABF and Organic products grow in the non-Kosher world, we decided to enter these markets with Kosher products. In this way, we provide a one-stop shop for supermarkets and Kosher butchers who need to provide their consumers with the wide range of poultry choices available today. As with all our products, these new products are being produced with consistently high standards of Kashrus, food safety, animal welfare, worker safety and great taste."

According to the company, Empire's ABF products will be, in the parlance of the trade, "never, ever", meaning the birds will be fed all vegetarian diets and will never be injected with antibiotics or hormones. Empire's Organic chicken will be fed only certified, organically grown vegetarian diets. All of Empire's poultry products are raised on family-owned farms within 75 miles of the Empire plant and are free roaming, allowing the birds to grow naturally.

Empire has dedicated 2 growing houses, with a capacity of almost 60,000 chickens per week, to its ABF product line and another growing house, with a capacity of almost 30,000 chickens per week, to its Organic line. This volume accounts for between one third and one half of Empire's current weekly production.

Empire is also dedicating two-thirds of its non-holiday turkey production to ABF turkeys, or approx. 20,000 per week. For major Jewish holidays and Thanksgiving, Empire will significantly ramp up its ABF turkey production to respond to customer needs.

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Empire Kosher Poultry

Natalie Berkhout

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