KENYA – Kenchic, one of Africa’s leading producers of processed chicken has launched guidelines that will guarantee the safety of its products while upholding the rights of the chicken it rears for business.
The launch of the guidelines was graced by Agriculture CAS Lawrence Omuhaka, who gave the keynote address.
“Public and private partnerships enable collective efforts to tackle various issues. The role of food safety cannot be overstated. The government applauds Kenchic Limited,” he said.
Some of the guidelines cover Animal Welfare Policy, Antimicrobial Usage Policy, Food Safety Policy, Wastes and Emissions Policy, Culling and Euthanasia Policy, and Environmental Enrichment.
According to Kenchic, the commitments, and policies are part of its journey in aligning with global standards and improving the standards in the local poultry industry regarding animal welfare and food safety.
The company is believed to be one of the leading integrated poultry producer in East and Central Africa, supplying processed chicken to consumers and day-old chicks to farmers.
The move by the company comes amid reports that a huge chunk of peanut products in the market were found to be unsafe for human consumption.
Jim Tozer, the company’s Managing Director, said that Kenchic’s farms and facilities adhere to the strictest food safety and animal welfare protocols laid down by entities like World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
“Kenchic chickens are reared in bio-secure and stable environments with ample space for them to move around in, allowing them to behave naturally and live free from stress and harm,” he said.
To uphold the animals’ welfare, the chickens are continuously supplied with fresh, clean, potable water and fed on a well-balanced plant-based poultry diet in line with animal welfare and food safety regulations.
Watson Messo, its lead veterinarian, said that there is a clear connection between animal welfare, food safety, productivity, and consumer preferences and hence the strict guidelines.
“We strive to ensure all our chickens are kept in the very best conditions to ensure food safety. We are continuously committed to positioning our business to fully meet and exceed international and national standards, including but not limited to our food safety and farming practices in line with animal welfare to deliver the highest quality products our consumers can trust,” he said.
Tozer said that the guidelines were not the terminus of the company’s advancement journey and that it was continuous.
“We commit to continuously working, together with stakeholders, to build the region’s poultry industry, its standards and providing consumers with the safest, healthiest chicken products produced in accordance with international animal welfare and food safety standards,” he said.
In addition to the new commitments, the company is currently working on a sustainability plan that will ensure Kenchic becomes a carbon neutral business and a NetZero energy producer. It also wants to phase out plastic packaging by the end of 2030.
In 2011 Kenchic was the first company in Kenya to attain Food Safety System Certification 22000 (FSSC 22000).
Kenchic products are all Halal certified by the Muslim Council of Kenya. The Arabic word halal means ‘permissible’, and the rules of slaughter are based on Islamic law.
In addition, Kenchic is current and compliant with the recommendations and requirements of all local statutory and regulatory bodies including National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and Good Veterinary Practices.