Ca­ter­ing for pre­mium poul­try PROD­UCTS

The Poultry Bulletin - - TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT -

Started in 2010 as a joint ven­ture be­tween (VKB) and the In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion, Grain Field Chick­ens, sit­u­ated in Reitz in the east­ern Free State, is an in­te­grated com­pany that in­cludes con­tracted broiler farms, a feed mill and a pro­cess­ing plant for pro­cess­ing broil­ers.

“Some years ago VKB pro­duced mainly grain. The com­pany was, how­ever, con­vinced that rear­ing their own chicks and pro­cess­ing them into a wide va­ri­ety of prod­ucts would be com­mer­cially in­ter­est­ing,” says Sas Kas­sel­man, Man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Grain Field Chick­ens.

To­day the com­pany pro­duces com­pet­i­tively priced, pre­mium qual­ity, poul­try prod­ucts. Fresh and frozen poul­try prod­ucts reach con­sumers through re­tail out­lets, su­per­mar­kets and the food ser­vice in­dus­try. Their com­pet­i­tive edge lies in the in­te­gra­tion and con­trol of the ver­ti­cal sup­ply chain to pro­duce com­pet­i­tively priced, top qual­ity poul­try prod­ucts.

“In South Africa poul­try meat is, as in many other coun­tries, the fastest grow­ing source of pro­tein for hu­man consumption. South Africans con­sume 36kg of chicken per per­son per year, with statis­ti­cians pro­ject­ing that this could well in­crease to 47kg per per­son, per year by 2019,” says Kas­sel­man.

To cater for this an­tic­i­pated growth, Grain Field Chick­ens em­barked on an im­prove­ment pro­gram for their pro­cess­ing plant. First, the old Stork GP Live Bird Han­dling sys­tem was ex­tended and up­graded, which led to an op­ti­mised flow of broil­ers and an op­ti­mal start to the process.

The com­pany then in­vested in the au­to­ma­tion of their cut-up depart­ment with the in­stal­la­tion of a Marel Stork ACM-NT cut-up sys­tem to pro­duce a wide va­ri­ety of cuts. To pack the var­i­ous prod­ucts af­ter IQF freez­ing, a Marel Mul­ti­head Weigher was in­stalled. The re­sult is re­li­able and ac­cu­rate batch­ing of poul­try prod­ucts with ex­tremely low give­away and a high through­put of up to 60 batches per minute.

With the GP sys­tem, cut-up and pack­ing up­dated, the fo­cus shifted to the evis­cer­a­tion depart­ment. The de­ci­sion was made to pur­chase a Stork Nuova evis­cer­a­tion sys­tem to in­creases the com­pany’s yields, es­pe­cially of valu­able giblets. Af­ter evis­cer­a­tion the in­tes­tine pack is re­moved im­me­di­ately and trans­ported away for fur­ther pro­cess­ing. Giblets are har­vested and pro­cessed man­u­ally at this mo­ment. Hearts, liver and giz­zards are pop­u­lar prod­ucts. The new evis­cer­a­tion sys­tem is fu­ture- proof, and can grow to a ca­pac­ity of 12,000 birds per hour (200 birds per minute) and can be au­to­mated step by step when re­quired, with­out the need to in­vest in a com­pletely new sys­tem.

“We aim to es­tab­lish Grain Field Chick­ens as a house­hold brand in South Africa and neigh­bour­ing coun­tries. We pro­duce truly farm­pro­duced chick­ens from the heart of South Africa’s grain field in the Free State,” says Kas­sel­man. “Our key value lies in the real old fash­ioned busi­ness prin­ci­ples of hon­esty, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and re­spect. We be­lieve that in busi­ness ev­ery­thing is ne­go­tiable ex­cept qual­ity, and our poul­try pro­cess­ing tech­nol­ogy is an im­por­tant step in what we call con­trol from grain to feed to fork.”

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