Tablebirds seizes power to compete
Mainland Holdings is one of PNG’s largest agribusinesses, with a strong focus on poultry and eggs for domestic consumption, merchandised under the high-profile Tablebirds brand.
However, its major competition comes not from other domestic producers, such as Zenag Chicken, but from imported poultry products from Australia and New Zealand.
Mainland’s Corporate Affairs and Research Manager, Dr Keith Galgal, explains the challenge for local producers:
‘Imported products are landed in Papua New Guinea at costs lower than our costs of production, so the first thing we have to do is look at ways we can reduce our cost of production—to be competitive without comprising quality.’
The company is looking to reduce the cost of stock feed by using local alternatives to imported wheat and soy bean, such as cassava root flour and fishmeal, a by-product of PNG’s fastdeveloping fish processing industry.
Other major costs, such as power generation and security services, will also need to be addressed to reduce cost of production and improve competitiveness. ‘We rely heavily of diesel generators for all major establishments such as processing plants. Quality of power is critical to our business because any blackouts and power surges will greatly affect our delicate and expensive electronic control systems in the processing plants. Any break down in quality power supply means lost in production and low income,’ says Dr Galgal.
‘We have already done our audit on our current power usage and our future needs for power. By definition, we are an independent power producer. We are looking at options for producing power cheaply or buying from those who can supply it at a cheaper rate.’