Posted on 2022-06-29 08:43:59
Country Bird Holdings' Supreme plant in Tigane, Hartbeesfontein, in the North West Province, yesterday celebrated the opening of its newly expanded chicken production facility. North West Premier Kaobitsa Bushy Maape and other guests were given a tour of the new abattoir, which has ramped up productivity by 35% and created around 100 direct new jobs as part of its contribution to the poultry industry master plan. An investment of R180 million in the plant has further entrenched the company as the majority employer in the area, ramping up economic activity that involves over 2 000 villagers by now.
In his address, Maape praised CBH for looking towards the future and executing such an ambitious expansion project in a time when Covid was throwing all manner of challenges at businesses. He said that government would do everything in its power to create a conducive environment for businesses, to enable job creation and fight the rising tide of unemployment.
According to CBH CEO Brendon de Boer the expansion at Tigane is the next step in a company strategy to pivot Supreme's product mix in line with new market opportunities and demands. "We are shifting down from about 50% of the output being individually quick frozen portions (IQF) to 15%, using the freed capacity to deliver fresh product, which is in great demand from clients including the quick-service restaurant (QSR) sector." Quality control is easier with fresh chicken, as it removes any doubts about whether correct defrosting protocols were employed to ensure food safety, he explains. "The time-saving when no defrosting is required and chicken arrives fresh and ready to use, is increasingly important in the competitive QSR sector."
Part of the expansion included the installation of high-tech new air-chilling technology, which replaced the water chiller used in the abattoir before. “Our environmental footprint benefits significantly by using less water, with the added positive of reducing reliance on water at a time when so many producers battle municipal service delivery issues," says De Boer. New automated bird-handling and evisceration technologies complete the picture, allowing for improved animal welfare guarantees.
"The increased capacity also brings down the production cost per unit, allowing us to produce more affordable chicken, and servicing a wider market." The new facility will be able to process a million chickens a week.
"In addition to directly servicing clients with fresh chicken, the Tigane plant will also deliver the raw material for our new further-processing plant in Germiston, where added-value product lines are produced for the convenience-food sector."
The Tigane expansion along with the increased production at CBH's Germiston plant represents a significant contribution to the poultry sector's commitment to increase capacity and job opportunities, according to Izaak Breitenbach of the South African Poultry Association. "It is exciting to see the passion and innovation with which poultry producers such as CBH have set about resolving the challenges set by the poultry sector master plan. When we look at this industry, South Africa's food security is in good hands."
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