European edition, Saturday, June 30, 2007

The chickens will soon be returning to roost in commissary shelves across Italy.

OK, they won’t be that fresh. But the popular Arena Group poultry products will be offered in Defense Commissary Agency stores for the first time in several months.

Arena stopped supplying DeCA with fresh chicken products in April after its processing plant in Castelplanio suffered extensive fire damage. Christa Frentzel, the buyer in charge of non-U.S. purchases for DeCA-Europe, said the same company will continue to supply fresh chicken products to commissaries in Italy under the same contract, but from a different plant.

The new plant is located in Bojano in south-central Italy. It has passed inspection by a team from the Army’s 100th Medical Detachment.

Gerri Young, a DeCA spokeswoman, said customers will start seeing the products again July 9. More products should be introduced as the processing plant expands its capacity.

“It should be just like (customers) had before,” Young said. “Same price. The only thing they’re not going to have initially is the selection they had before.”

Customers at seven DeCA facilities in Italy spend about $60,000 on poultry products each month, Young said.

DeCA increased supplies of Tyson frozen poultry products from the States when its fresh supply stopped. Young said stores will continue to carry those products as well, based on customer demand.

author picture
Kent has filled numerous roles at Stars and Stripes including: copy editor, news editor, desk editor, reporter/photographer, web editor and overseas sports editor. Based at Aviano Air Base, Italy, he’s been TDY to countries such as Afghanistan Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia. Born in California, he’s a 1988 graduate of Humboldt State University and has been a journalist for 40 years.

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