Food & Drink International - Winter 2017, Volume 2 - 37
Miller Amish Country
"We don't use antibiotics.
It's an all-vegetable feed,
corn and soy." - Clayton Miller
cessed chickens are air-chilled, with some water-chilled.
As the name suggests, air-chilled chickens are cooled with
blasts of air. The others are submerged into a Polyacrylic
acid solution after harvest.
"Air-chilled is preferred because it doesn't absorb additional water," Miller says. "If the meat absorbs water, it can
change the taste a little bit." The company does not freeze its
products unless it receives a special request from a customer.
Miller Poultry's birds are harvested, portioned, packaged
and prepared for chilling at its processing plant in Orland.
On a weekly basis, the company harvests roughly 650,000
chickens. In 1992, when it opened the plant, it was harvesting
20,000 chickens per week.
Although the company has clearly grown, Miller says it is
"growing at a slow yet deliberate pace. We don't want to be
the biggest. We want to be the best."
The bulk of Miller Poultry's sales are throughout the Midwest, though it has a few accounts in the Rocky Mountains,
Texas and on the East Coast. "We are working on new customers outside of what we have historically considered our
territory," Miller says. "We want to bring them what we think
is some of the best chicken in the market."
Miller Poultry has more than 20 distributors that include
Whole Foods, Kroger, Meijer, Supervalu and SpartanNash.
"Whole Foods has been a wonderful partner," Miller says.
"They have really helped us move in the transparent, healthy
and clean food movement. They did it before anybody else
was doing it and encouraged us to get into the organic market. We believe because of educated consumers with help
from influential retailers, the trend of clean, wholesome and
natural products is here to stay."
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food & drink international * winter 2017 volume 2 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com