Sovereign Foods announced the acquisition of the Blue Hills hatchery in Midrand. The hatchery was previously known as Hyline Africa, 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 offtake 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 centralises our day-old chick supply chain to our contract farmers in and around our Hartbeespoort abattoir,” said Chris Coombes, CEO of Sovereign Foods.

Coombes said that up to this point, Sovereign Foods has had to purchase a certain portion of its day-old chicks on the open market at premium prices. “Now, our Blue Hills operation will eliminate this process providing security and resource efficiencies to our company,” he added.

Sovereign Foods officially took ownership of the hatchery last month, renaming the site Hatchery Number Three, Blue Hills.

“Ownership of the hatchery operation means we can control the quality of day-old chicks while 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 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 a week which equates to production of 510 000 day-old chicks per week.

“Eggs will be supplied from Uitenhage and Polokwane,” said Coombes. – Press release