The Poultry and Egg Industry
The combined gross value of fowls slaughtered, eggs produced, including eggs for hatching, and ostrich feathers and products amounted to R49.312bn in 2015/2016, accounting for approximately 42.5% of the total gross value of all animal products. According to the South African Poultry Association (SAPA), the poultry industry provides employment, directly and indirectly, for an estimated 120,000 people throughout its value chain. The sector is responsible for providing much of the animal protein consumed in South Africa, with the largest proportion being consumed by the lower LSM categories.
A Concentrated Sector
This concentrated sector is dominated by fully integrated broiler and egg producers. The major broiler producers include RCL Foods, Country Bird Holdings, Astral Foods, Quantum, Sovereign Foods and Kuipers Group. They all own fully integrated poultry operations and thus breed their own flocks, own their own hatcheries, rear their own broilers and provide feed from their own feed mills. They also own, or are involved in, the secondary industry with their own or contracted abattoirs, handling meat processing, value-added product manufacturing, distribution and marketing. Some companies also have import and export divisions. Some own retail shops and fast food chains or have contracts to supply frozen and cooked chicken products directly to restaurants, fast food chains and supermarkets.
This detailed report describes current conditions in the poultry and egg industry, the largest sub-sector of the South African agricultural sector. Factors influencing the success of the industry are discussed and include the recent outbreaks of Avian Influenza (AI), increases in the price of key raw material inputs following the 2016 drought and the surge in imports, especially of mechanically deboned meat and ‘bone-in chicken’ which is regarded as a ‘waste product’ in most developed countries. Also included in the report are profiles for 18 major local companies involved in the production of poultry meat, ostrich meat and eggs.