The stand-off between the City of Irwindale and Huy Fong Foods, maker of the popular Sriracha chili sauce, has attracted nationwide attention after the company‚Äôs owner David Tran invited delegations from cities and state interested in getting Huy Fong Foods to relocate.
The prospect of losing hundreds of jobs and a multi-million dollar manufacturing facility has led to interested stakeholders trying to mediate and work out a solution.
The Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation made it known that they are continuing to meet with both City of Irwindale officials and Huy Fong Foods to figure out a solution that addresses the concerns of both sides.
The whole kerfuffle arose out of complaints made by some residents in Irwindale about odors from the crushed peppers emanating from the Huy Fong Foods facility that was allegedly causing headaches, and irritation in the eyes and throats.
The City filed a lawsuit against Huy Fong Foods last October, resulting in a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ordering the company to curb unhealthy odors emanating from the plant, but did not grant the restraining order that would have shut down the plant.
The issue came to a boil after the Irwindale City Council scheduled a resolution declaring the fumes from the Huy Fong Foods facility to be a public nuisance.¬†This was the last straw for David Tran, who then made it known that he would relocate the facility elsewhere, and invited representatives of interested cities and states to tour the plant in person and decide for themselves whether the fumes were so bad as to be a ‚Äúpublic nuisance.‚Äù
The company has received more than two dozen responses from communities that are interested in securing the Huy Fong Foods relocation.
The Huy Fong Foods facility is a multi-million dollar state-of-the-art plant which employs more than 90 full-time workers and another 150 seasonal workers in the fall to produce 20 million bottles of hot sauce annually.
The sad part about the current stand-off is that the City worked hard with the company and developers to turn an abandoned pit into this thriving factory. The resolution to declare the plant a public nuisance has for now been tabled to be taken up at the city council‚Äôs next meeting on May 7. If the resolution is adopted at that time, that would give¬†Huy Fong Foods¬†until July 22 to curb the odors.
The Los Angeles Economic Development Corp, meanwhile, is trying to save the jobs and prevent Huy Fong Foods from relocating elsewhere outside the county or state. LAEDC said in a statement that, “We will do everything that we can to ensure that Huy Fong Foods remains in Irwindale ‚Äî and in L.A. County, the #1 manufacturing capital of America.”