ANNAPOLIS Gov. Martin O'Malley hosted executives from Harim Holdings and from Allen Family Foods on Friday at the Government House in Annapolis.
O'Malley met with the executives as Harim takes steps this month to finalize its purchase of the assets of Allen Family Foods, a 92-year-old poultry company that declared bankruptcy in June. Harim, a South Korean company, outbid Seaford Milling Company, an affiliate of Mountaire Farms of Delaware at a bankruptcy auction last month.
Allen's employs about 2,400 people at its facilities in Delaware, Maryland and North Carolina. The Cordova facility is the largest private employer in Talbot County, according to the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.
The company processes about 2.2 million birds per week and packs about 9.5 million pounds of finished poultry products per year.
Since its bankruptcy, 28 workers at Allen's Cordova plant were laid off, and the future of the plants remains uncertain. Harim executives have said they plan to run Allen's plants with many of its current workers, but it's not clear whether more layoffs will happen.
Poultry is Maryland's leading agricultural sector, with poultry companies on the Delmarva Peninsula employing 14,700 people, according to the Delmarva Poultry Industry.
When Allen's first announced its bankruptcy, O'Malley's administration said it would work with displaced employees and businesses.
"The poultry industry is critically important to Maryland, providing thousands of jobs and supporting many small businesses," O'Malley said in June. "Our Administration is working to pull together all available resources to help protect the growers and employees impacted by the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by Allen Family Food. Poultry is Maryland's top agricultural industry and critical to the economy, especially in communities on the Eastern Shore. We continue to fight for these jobs, preserve farmland and strengthen our family-owned farms and businesses."
Friday's meeting included Tom Miller, Allen Family Foods; Moon Yong Lee, Harim; Tae Kyun Lee, Harim; Harim Chairman Hong Kuk Kim; In Kyu Lee, Harim; Robert Turley, president of Allen Family Foods and Brian Hilldreft, vice president of finance of Allen Family Foods.
Kim, and Allen executives, met with Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and three members of his cabinet Thursday.