Contract growers boost poultry industry

Contract growers – independent farmers who supply chickens to large poultry operations – are a key part of South Africa’s poultry industry.

The relationship between poultry producers and contract growers is examined in the latest issue of the Poultry Bulletin, the journal of the SA Poultry Association.

At Country Bird Holdings (CBH), the country’s third largest chicken producer, increased production volumes to meet commitments in the poultry master plan have also meant expansion and job creation at its contract growers.

CBH partners with some 65 contract growers, most with long-term contracts, and CBH provides additional support and advice. According to CBH agricultural director George de Kock, seven of these growers have invested or committed to invest R336 million in expanded production. This is projected to increase the supply to CBH by 20.8 million birds per year, and the creation of 122 new jobs.

This is part of the success of what is described as “these complex, long-term relationships between a large integrated producer and its contract growers”.

In the poultry master plan, the South African poultry industry has committed to initiate, lead and co-ordinate the process of establishing 50 new contract farmers. The plan says that at R35 million per farmer, this will cost R1,7 billion and create 1 000 new jobs.

Image: Tumi Mokwene, owner of Phetogo Poultry Farms.