Irvine’s spread wings in Tanzania with new Cobb broiler project

Irvine’s and its long time partner Cobb, one of the world’s largest chicken breeders, are to open a new operation in Tanzania that will supply broiler breeding stock into East Africa.

The new project will see Cobb launching a new broiler “grandparent” operation in Tanzania, which expands Irvine’s existing presence in that market.

“This is the first time that Cobb will invest directly in Africa and we are excited to commit to the development of a market with extraordinary growth potential,” said Roy Mutimer, Vice President EMEA & Asia-Pacific, for Cobb. “Irvine’s, a company with more than seventy years of experience doing business in sub-Saharan Africa will be a great partner for Cobb – it’s a recipe for success.”

Grandparent stock is part of the pyramid in the breeding of broilers. The breeding starts with pedigree stock, which then produces the eggs that become the great-grandparent stock. These birds then produce hatching eggs that become the grandparent stock, which produces parent stock. The eggs of the parent stock lay the eggs that become the broiler.

Currently, Cobb has been exporting grandparent birds to Tanzania. But, according to the company, high freight costs and bird flu bans have made it less reliable to supply from Europe.

“With over 700 million people, Sub-Saharan Africa has a great long-term potential and we are excited for this new partnership and the future of Cobb East Africa,” said Mutimer.

Cobb will leverage Irvine’s existing parent stock operation in Tanzania to launch the grandparent venture, Mutimer says.

Irvine’s is the largest breeder in Zimbabwe and has a presence in Botswana and Mozambique. In Zimbabwe, according to recently released results by parent company Innscor, Irvine’s sold almost 50 million day-old chicks, 24 million dozens of eggs and over 19,000 tonnes of frozen chickens over the past year.