Tablebirds seizes power to com­pete

Made in PNG - - FEATURE -

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.’

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