Sovereign Foods, the third largest poultry producer in South Africa, today announced the acquisition of the Blue Hills hatchery in Midrand. The hatchery was previously known as Hyline Africa which was a commercial layer grandparent facility.
Sovereign’s expansion began three years ago with the acquisition and upgrading of an abattoir in Hartbeespoort, a landmark empowerment and preferential off-take agreement with BEE group Cultiver, and now this hatching facility in Gauteng.
“The acquisition of this hatchery allows us to be almost self-sufficient in the supply of day-old chicks. It further centralises our day-old chick supply chain to our contract farmers in and around our Hartbeespoort abattoir,” announced Chris Coombes, Sovereign Foods CEO.
Coombes said up until this point, Sovereign Foods has had to purchase a certain portion of its day-old chicks on the open market at a premium. “Now, our Blue Hills operation will eliminate this process providing security and resource efficiencies to our company.”
Sovereign Foods officially took ownership of the hatchery last month, renaming the site to Hatchery No 3 Blue Hills.
“Ownership of the hatchery operation means that we are able to control the quality of day-old chicks while at the same time ensuring shorter delivery times to farmers in the area. The hatchery is situated centrally in relation to our contract farmers and cuts delivery time in half. Shorter delivery time leads to better quality day old chicks,” Coombes said.
“The acquisition means that we no longer have to buy in as many chicks from external suppliers and are able to keep tighter control over our supply chain,” he added.
The new hatchery has the capacity to set 660 000 eggs weekly which equates to production of 510 000 day-old chicks per week.
“Eggs will be supplied from Uitenhage and Polokwane,” said Coombes.