Vineland Poultry, a leading producer of kosher poultry for more than 35 years, was acquired by Mehadrin Poultry for an undisclosed price, kosher food sources told Kosher Today. According to the sources, the Vineland plant will close while the Vineland brand continues to be produced at the Mehadrin Pennsylvania plant.
Reached by Kosher Today on Thursday, Marvin Raab of Vineland denied the rumors. In an e-mail, he wrote: “This is totally not true. Mehadrin did not buy our plant and this is totally false.”
But sources say that the transition is already underway. They say that Vineland, once said to be second only to Empire Kosher Poultry, may have fallen victim to the dramatic changes that have taken place in kosher poultry. In addition to Empire, the leader in the field for many years, and Alle Processing, Vineland faced increased competition from such relative newcomers as KJ Poultry and Mehadrin. KJ Poultry of Monroe NY is said to have captured a significant share of the market in a short time.
The resurgence of the Agri poultry products under AgriStar also introduced more competition into the marketplace as did product from Canada, all of which had its effect on the low margins poultry producers were already working with. Located in Exter PA, the relatively new Mehadrin plant was damaged by a fire in February 2009, but is said to have fully recovered since.