JAMAICA - Caribbean Broilers has invested more than $30 million in a certification programme for local farmers in a bid to boost chicken exports.
Jamaica Observer reports that 19 poultry farmers were recently certified under ISO 9001:2008, HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) through Switzerland-based Société Générale de Surveillance.
The certification, which started in mid-2013, allows CB to export chickens produced by the farmers. The food processor currently exports chicken feed and a small quantity of chicken to 11 Caribbean countries.
"This means increased profits for our farmers, safer food for Jamaicans and efficiency in our operations, allowing us to operate at a global level," brand manager at CB, Alicia Bogues told the Caribbean Business Report.
The general procedure for farmers to become certified by Société Générale de Surveillance includes undergoing an audit programme by HACCP, or hazard analysis and critical control points, followed by the extensive training of farm workers to meet HACCP standards.
Farmers must also implement a preventative maintenance plan for the equipment being used, undergo an audit of their suppliers, documentation policies as it relates to traceability of the products and a plan to upgrade all the farms' infrastructure to be compliant with HACCP procedures.
Certification of the farms was completed over a one-year period. CB aims to certify another 23 farmers so that they are all certified by the end of the next fiscal year.
High operation costs have prevented CB from supplying greater amounts of chicken to Caribbean markets over the years, according to Bogues. "It's very difficult to compete against North America or Brazil markets," she said.
Aside from benefiting from increased sales through exportation, farmers have already seen increased efficiency in their operations.
"Proper record-keeping allows me to pay closer attention to the activities on the farm, which has led to an increase in profits," certified CB farmer, Richard Bennett, said in a press release.
CB Group has, for more than two decades, supplied food products with brands such as CB Chicken, Caribbean Passion, Chippenham Eggs, and (Omega 3) Eggs.
Over the years, the company has expanded into pork production of ham, sausage, bacon and its most recent addition Copperwood fresh pork line. Copperwood Pork, like CB Chicken, is produced in an ISO 9001:2008, HACCP- and GMP- certified facility.
CB Group has invested millions over the last three years to increase capacity and upgrade their processing plant and farms to be 'Certified SAFE'.
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