Grain Field Chickens' Story
Grain Field Chickens’ history stems from a century-old agricultural enterprise, the VKB group. VKB has been a leading name in the food-production industry since 1919 and has ventured into different entities such as grain processing, fertiliser and fuel, animal feed plants, and wheat mill among many others.
In 2010, a strategic decision was made to change the VKB Management Structure by consolidating the different VKB Industries into a focused division. It also gave birth to a chicken poultry farm at the heart of South Africa’s grain fields in the Free State.
A Poultry Farm in the Heart of South Africa
Along with VKB, Grain Field Chickens aims to develop a balanced national footprint through its geographical location. In the Eastern Free State, about 800 000 tons of maize and 200 000 tons of soybean are produced which have previously been sold to industries in other provinces without any added value.
These two crops make up 60% and 18% of the average formula for food for broilers, respectively. It, therefore, made economic sense to boost the value chain by building an animal feed plant so that the maize and soy could be transformed into broiler food which could in turn be used by contract growers.
The addition of a chicken abattoir would increase the maximum value to the area and developing products that reflect traditional South African chicken farm values was an opportunity of a lifetime. The decision to get involved in the production and processing of chicken was a logical step for VKB to get further involved in the food value chain.
The ground works for the abattoir in Reitz was started in December 2010. In May 2011, the steel construction was erected so that by June 2012 the business was in production.
It took Grain Field Chickens two years to build a state-of-the-art chicken abattoir and has since produced only the best chicken products for its consumers in South Africa.
Today, Grain Field Chickens is in its Phase 1 of producing high-quality chickens and is already processing from 800,000 to 850,000 chickens per week. It will increase to 1.2 million chickens per week once it reaches Phase 2 of its development.
Grain Field Chickens is owned by VKB (76.9%) and the Grain Field Chickens Workers Trust who owns 23.1% of the business - (Grain Field Chickens Workers Trust holds 100% in Grain Field Chickens Beneficiaries Holdings (Pty) Ltd and Grain Field Chickens Beneficiaries Holdings (Pty) Ltd. Holds 23.1% in Grain Field Chickens)
For Grain Field Chickens, product and service quality are non-negotiable. We believe in locally-sourced products, local job creation, and creating value for the South African consumer. Our farm chickens are fed only with high-quality broiler feed and are raised in a stress-free environment to produce fresh and healthy South African poultry products.
We uphold three good old business principles – honesty, communication, and respect. These traditional values have kept us true to our mission in being the preferred poultry brand in South Africa.
Grain Field Chickens (Pty) Ltd is a member of the VKB Group
Visit www.vkb.co.za for more information