Expanded Tigane processing facilities are now operational at Country Bird.

The newly expanded Supreme Chicken Tigane chicken production facility owned by Southern African agricultural company Country Bird Holdings (CBH) was officially launched on June 23, marking the culmination of over five years of planning and the realisation of R180 million worth of investment. The facility is located in Hartebeesfontein, in the North West province of South Africa.

CBH CEO Brendon de Boer explained that the expansion was undertaken to ensure that Supreme remains competitive in an industry that is faced with a number of pressures, and that the new abattoir enables it to ramp up productivity by 35 percent. He made these remarks during the launch of the new facility.

It will be possible to process one million hens every week at the new facility, which is an increase of 300,000 birds above the existing capacity of the plant.

In addition, De Boer stated that the purpose of the expansion was to foster food security in the nation. The significance of having local capability and capacity was highlighted by the disruptions that occurred during the pandemic, as well as the global impact that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine had.

This expansion was also applauded by the Chief Executive Officer of the non-profit organisation known as Proudly South Africa, Eustace Mashimbye. He stated that the organisation, of which CBH is a member, had been working to increase the percentage of locally produced poultry sold in retail establishments. He explained that recent conversations with merchants had suggested that there was a shortfall of local capacity to meet demand. Since there is a dearth of local capacity to meet demand, this enhanced capacity should assist fulfil that need.

The expansion involves the installation of cutting-edge new air-chilling technology, which has completely replaced the spin chillers that were previously utilised in the slaughterhouse.

This has made it possible for the corporation to significantly lower its water usage footprint, with the spin chillers alone accounting for around 1.6 million litres of water use on a daily basis.

This action helps the corporation achieve its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals while also reducing its dependency on the local government.

In addition, CHB intends to construct a solar plant on land that is currently vacant at the Tigane facility within the next year in order to boost its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) credentials, reduce its dependency on Eskom, and lessen the negative effects of load-shedding.

In addition, in order to meet the requirements for animal welfare regulations, new automated technologies for handling birds and eviscerating them were installed throughout the expansion. In order to guarantee that the hens do not become anxious, blue lights have also been erected in the receiving area.

CBH has increased the capacity of its killing department by installing extra scalding tanks and pluckers in order to accommodate the growing number of birds that need to be killed.

It has also built a new huge automatic cutting machine, in addition to a new cooling tower, refrigeration compressors, and other refrigeration-related equipment.

De Boer stated that the firm has made investments in technology that will allow it to improve its competitiveness, lower its expenses, and sustain employment levels all at the same time.

He emphasised that the expanded capacity came to a reduction in the manufacturing cost per unit, making it possible for CBH to manufacture chicken at more reasonable prices and to serve a larger market.

According to De Boer, the firm is focused on fast service restaurants and will endeavour to maintain high levels of food safety and quality in the future.

In addition to providing fresh chicken to customers directly, the Tigane factory will also provide the raw material for CBH’s new further-processing plant in Germiston. This operation will develop added-value product lines for the convenience food industry.

Additionally, the expansion has resulted in the creation of around one hundred additional direct positions. According to De Boer, CBH was the primary employer in the region. The facility was situated in close proximity to the community, and the company was responsible for economic activity that affected more than 2,000 local residents.

Additionally, he shared the information that CBH was in the process of establishing a bursary fund for areas in which it operated. This fund would make it possible for students in the region to submit applications for financial assistance with their university studies.

Premier Kaobitsa Bushy Maape of the North West praised the accomplishment and praised CBH for looking toward the future and on executing such an ambitious expansion project at a time when Covid-19 was having considerable impacts on businesses and consumers. Maape lauded the accomplishment and commended CBH for looking toward the future.

He emphasised the need of the government creating an environment that is suitable for companies in order to promote job creation and combat the growing tide of unemployment.

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