State of Maryland Assists Workers and Businesses Impacted by Allen Family Foods Bankruptcy
Annapolis, MD (June 16, 2011) – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced that the Administration will be working to assist employees and businesses impacted by the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of Allen Family Foods.
“The poultry industry is critically important to Maryland, providing thousands of jobs and supporting many small businesses,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “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.”
The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), Talbot County Economic Development, Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board, and Upper Shore DLLR (Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation) offices are prepared to offer a rapid response for displaced workers, and assistance with job training, information on job retention/creation incentives and marketing any Maryland industrial properties. The State is also working with the other poultry companies in Maryland to determine if they can hire additional employees and growers.
The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) is looking into USDA programs that could benefit these producers as well – including the Poultry Loss Contract Grant Assistance Program (PGAP), which has provided up to $60 million in assistance to poultry growers whose contracts were terminated because of the bankruptcy of a poultry company. MDA is also in contact with Mid-Atlantic Farm Credit to determine available resources.
The poultry industry is Maryland’s leading agricultural sector, accounting for $640 million (40 percent) of farm income in 2009. Maryland broiler production ranked eighth among states in broilers produced in 2010. Most of the grain grown on Maryland’s Eastern Shore is used for chicken feed. According to the Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc., poultry companies operating on the Delmarva Peninsula employ 14,700 people. There are over 1,660 family farms that raise chickens in association with the five poultry integrators operating on the Delmarva Peninsula.
Allen Family Foods, based in Seaford, Delaware, was founded in 1919. An auction is scheduled at the end of this month to sell the company’s assets and the new ownership will determine the fate of the Cordova, MD plant. According to the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, Allen Family Foods employs 500 people in Maryland and the Cordova facility is the largest private employer in Talbot County.