KIMBERLEY – The Northern Cape’s female-driven chicken enterprise, Warrenton Super Chicken, has spread it wings by accumulating much needed brand-value. The market essence for any venture is in promising consistency and now Warrenton Super Chicken is a fully fledged product set for the refrigerators of major supermarkets…. “We have invested in our brand value chain. Our chicken is packaged in a manner that bears our brand-identity. Such an effort is much needed in weathering the market storms engulfing the poultry industry. Times are tough but we have managed to increase our staff to 41 employees and we now rearing 15 000 from 10 000 chicks monthly. We would like to attribute all of that to having formalised many aspects of our business and the very last thereto was the branding of our product,” enthused Warrenton Super Chicken’s Managing Director Ms Mabel Motlhale.
The website www.warrentonsuperchicken.co.za asserts their differentiator as being “proudly brine free.” It goes on waxing lyrical on being female-driven. The enterprise boasts an experienced team with business, production, marketing and abattoir management skills horned over many years as employees of what was then known under the previous owner as the Doringfontein Broiler Farm. The farmland was acquired by Ms Motlhale and other beneficiaries with the assistance of government through what was known as the Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development (LRAD) grant. Testimony to having taken to the water like a duck in relation to food safety is in noting how they go about guaranteeing high nutrition value owing in consideration of poultry being a sensitive product in the food processing stakes. “Of utmost importance is that as new entrants and historically disadvantaged persons, we should up the ante at all times in securing our market share by enlisting the support of all segments of society. Just how do you do that when your brand and value for money promise are a flop? Hence we had to take into account the fact that conscientising people to buy local has to be balanced with unending quality in relation to the product and marketing appeal,” asserted Ms Motlhale. Talk about killing two birds with one stone. Warrenton Super Chicken successfully went for glory in the provincial and national 2016 installments of the prestigious Female Entrepreneur of the Year Awards by scooping the honours in the category Top Entrepreneur in Food Processing.
Ms Motlhale riposted as such, “Having won both at province and national was humbling and such recognition could only serve to inspire.” In their quest of ensuring that they adhere to the best production practices, membership of the South African Poultry Association (SAPA) also brought the necessary gravitas to their broiler houses. And now Ms Motlhale says they are a little worried for now about the importing of cheap chicken products threat, emphasizing the need for “consumer education.” “Well we are awaiting the necessary accreditation that would allow us into Southern African Development Community (SADC) nations such as Lesotho where we have already gone to test the waters and we remain confident that we will crack more markets in the near future.” The Chief Executive Officer of the industry’s mouthpiece and standard bearer, South African Poultry Association (SAPA) that was established in Kimberley in 1904 is Kevin Lovell who embraced Warrenton Super Chicken for having found a nesting in the association. “We have created a whole new structure, unlike some of the other agricultural bodies, when instead of having a separate body for small farmers whether they were egg or broiler farmers. We kind of said you either produce eggs or you produce broilers, whether you big or small and that is kind of where we at in the picture with Warrenton Super Chicken,” said Mr Lovell whilst pressed to attend to other urgent matters.
Despite Warrenton Super Chicken not being deterred by what has led to massive job losses with South Africa’s big producers finding themselves on the brink of collapse, Ms Matlhale does concede that the cost of chicken feed is exponential and might clip the wings of many a broiler farmer. FairPlay Movement which is vehemently opposed to what it regards as the “dumping of chicken in South Africa under the production cost,” stated on its Facebook page that there is an inextricable link between the current high prices of chicken feed and the capture of our South African markets. Warrenton Super Chicken acquired a government spent of twenty-seven million rand from the department of agriculture, land reform and rural development towards the construction of a top-notch abattoir, well-equipped broilers and other assets such as a three-ton cooler truck. Department of land reform and rural development gave a land grant of over three-million rand.