BOAZ, ALA. – Alatrade Foods LLC recently announced its poultry processing company is now 100% employee owned.

The company said it created an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) which allows about 1,800 of its workers to have ownership stake in Alatrade. It is one of the largest employee-owned companies in Alabama.

According to Alatrade, workers process more than 400 million lbs of chicken per year. The company produces marinated and non-marinated products for the foodservice industry in the United States as part of its deboning operations.

The vision for the employee-owned company comes from founder Davis Lee who started AlaTrade Foods in 2000 after a lengthy career in the poultry industry.

“The ESOP is meant to reward people who stay a long time with the company,” said Andrea Elrod, chief financial officer for Alatrade. “The employee ownership is so exciting. My expectation is that all of our employees will have meaningful account balances for retirement in a 10- to 15-year time frame.”

Alatrade runs three plants in Alabama. Along with ESOP, employees can purchase health insurance, dental and vision insurance, life insurance, incentives, bonuses and other benefits.