Chicken farmers give thumbs up to new 'No Antibiotics Ever' production, says Jamaica BroilersWednesday, May 05, 2021
Despite the different approach to management practices now required for its new antibiotic-free broiler chicken meat, Jamaica Broilers Group says it has received encouraging responses from members of its supply chain.
The company's supply chain, which includes feed mill, hatcheries and contract farmers, are fully on board and committed to the antibiotic-free production, President and CEO Christopher Levy said.
“They're so excited about it. How they responded has been nothing short of encouraging because they know it's a very big change for a broiler operation,” Levy said, noting that the support also signals the farmer's dedication and commitment within the industry despite the challenges faced due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“One of the challenges that we have been able to get our hands around is how we keep our people engaged, focused and positive. I think this launch with this No Antibiotic Ever (NAE) move has given people something to really wrap their hands around and to be encouraged about. The two years of work that they have poured into it, and also when they look at how the company is doing and the successes that we're experiencing has really helped to keep people motivated and engaged,” he told the Jamaica Observer.
He noted, however, that NAE production is shining the spotlight on conditions that were not of high priority, such as water quality.
“Before it wasn't very high on our radar, but now we have to have a standard for water. A farmer might need to invest in a filtration system for his birds…and those things are not what every farmer does. Some have better environment in terms of just keeping the lawn cut, or having employers work within a standard,” he said.
According to Levy, NAE production requires better management general bird-rearing conditions and sanitary arrangements along the production chain.
“We had to get them engaged because the condition on their farms has to be right or else we would have a problem,” Levy said.
The poultry producer's move was influenced by the increasing public concerns over antibiotic use in poultry feed and at commercial broiler hatcheries.
The roll-out, which includes Jamaica Broilers United States and Caribbean markets, will also feature new packaging which the company says will preserve freshness and the quality of its products. Its business in Haiti will continue to concentrate on selling layers for egg production.
Jamaica Broilers joins a growing number of poultry producers worldwide who have chosen to reduce the use of antibiotics in agricultural and animal production.
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