R180m. investment ‘shows progress in North West’

North West premier Bushy Maape says government is on the right track luring investors to the province. This, following a major poultry producer forking out R180 million in order to produce more fresh chicken

Archive photo. A R180-million investment by a major poultry producer in North West signals progress by the province to lure investors, says its premier. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

Archive photo. A R180-million investment by a major poultry producer in North West signals progress by the province to lure investors, says its premier. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

A poultry producer that was rumoured seven months ago to want to leave North West, has just invested R180 million in its processing plant in Hartbeesfontein and the premier of the province says it shows government’s progress in creating a business-friendly environment.

In a statement released yesterday, North West premier Kaobitsa Bushy Maape says that government is on the right track to lure investment to the province. This, as Country Bird Holdings is making the investment to increase its production of fresh Supreme Chicken products by 35%.

Food For Mzansi reported in November 2021 that Country Bird Holdings denied wanting to close down its operations in North West due to bad service delivery from the provincial administration. The premier and Country Bird CEO Brendon de Boer met only days later to mend their relationship and to discuss the company’s challenges, investment plans and continued employment of about 2 000 residents of the province.

Now, Maape says the investment in the facilities “represents progress in the province, particularly as we try to resuscitate the provincial economy”.

“The province has suffered enormous shocks due to the pandemic and we are excited that companies like Country Bird see North West as a viable destination for investments,” the premier adds. “We are working hard to address a number of service delivery challenges confronting the province. We are doing this to assure the private sector that we can work hand in glove with them to bring business to our province and create jobs.’’

The Hartbeesfontein plant will not only supply clients directly with fresh chicken but will also deliver the raw material for the company’s new processing plant in Germiston in Gauteng.

The market favours freshness

De Boer says the company will produce fewer quick-frozen portions and use the freed capacity to deliver fresh chicken “which is in great demand from clients, including the quick-service restaurant sector”.

“The increased capacity also brings down the production cost per unit, allowing us to produce more affordable chicken and servicing a wider market. The new facility will be able to process a million chickens a week,” he says.

De Boer says the company’s investment, both in Hartbeesfontein and Germiston, forms part of a broader plan by Supreme to align its strategy with new market opportunities and demands, but also lines up with the poultry sector’s commitment to increase capacity and job opportunities in line with the poultry sector’s master plan.

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