Friday, October 17, 2008

Happy Cows Get New Neighbors-Kosher Poultry Plant To Open In California

An L.A. based start-up firm is planning a kosher chicken production plant in Tulare, California. The facility is a new 50,000-square-foot “Leed certified” building on Walnut just south of Bardsley in the Tulare Business Park. The plant would process up to 100,000 birds a day in what would be the first West Coast kosher poultry plant.

The new company will be called House of David Poultry.

The project is headed by former Israeli chicken businessman Hillel Shamam, an orthodox Jew who will bring the kosher style of raising and slaughtering chickens for the U.S. market to Tulare.

According to Shamam, the company could open as soon as October and employ 70. “God willing, we could grow to 250.”

Shamam said they have already contracted with a number of local ranches to raise the birds and expects all the birds to be raised nearby. “We follow the teachings of the Old Testament from thousands of years ago to treat the animal with respect” before it is slaughtered, he says. “That includes raising the chickens in a stress-free environment as range free birds and everything organic as much as possible.”

The site will include space for several rabbinical personnel who are key to the operation and will actually have residential units onsite.

“They'd like to be operational by the end of the year,” said Kyle Rhinebeck, the company's Tulare real estate broker. “The plant is a first operation and will even invite tours in the future to visit the plant.”

The Central Valley is the largest chicken raising area in the state. Nearby Sanger and Porterville each have chicken packaging facilities.

More Jewish celebrants are keeping kosher and keeping up with the latest food trend this High Holiday season - buying eco-friendly, organic and locally grown kosher staples, a movement some are calling 'eco-kosher.'

This plant in Tulare will be the closest Kosher Poultry processing plant to Monterey. Meaning fresh Kosher poultry will only have to travel about 200 miles.

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