Concord, N.H. – January 13, 2015 -Members of the farming community are disappointed with the recent announcement to end plans for the USDA poultry processing plant in Concord.
Last month the city of Concord Planning Board approved a site plan application for Fournier Foods after taking numerous comments from area residents and thoroughly discussing ordinances to ensure city requirements were met.
In a letter to the community dated January 7, 2015, Fournier Foods CEO Craig Fournier and Co-owner Omar Khudari expressed their extreme disappointment and sadness in discontinuing their efforts to build a nearly 5,500-square-foot plant at 52 Locke Road, just off of Exit 16 on Interstate 93.
According to the letter, Fournier Foods was hopeful that they would contribute to small-scale agriculture in New Hampshire. “While our motivation was not purely financial, the project still needed to make economic sense,” stated the letter. “It recently became clear that the project would require a lot more capital with lower returns than what we were willing to accept.”
The letter also addressed Fournier’s and Khudari’s concerns for New Hampshire farmers, who supported them from the beginning. “We will endeavor to see if there is anything we can do for the farmers,” the letter noted. “But we wanted to be forthright and share our decision as soon as we had made it.”
In addition to higher than expected costs, other contributing factors to the decision was the prolonged application process and neighborhood opposition.
New Hampshire Farm Bureau Young Farmer Vice Chair Amy Gowell Drogue of Center Barnstead was looking forward to using the facility and expanding her farming operation to include poultry meat products. “It’s unfortunate for New Hampshire farmers,” said Gowell Drogue. “But I’m still hopeful that a solution can be found in the near future.”