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Jamaica Broilers Group to Triple Grain Capacity

21 May 2014

JAMAICA - Jamaica Broilers Group (JBG) will triple its storage capacity following a $830-million investment to build out more room for raw materials used in the production of animal feed.

Jamaica Observer reports that construction has already begun for six 12,000 metric tonne grain silos at the Best Dressed Mill in Old Harbour. It is scheduled to be completed within a year. "The grain silos will put us at an advantage, allowing us to compete better in terms of prices," said Christopher Levy, president and CEO of Jamaica Broilers.

It will allow Jamaica Broilers to be more efficient, and ultimately save. But Mr Levy was unable to immediately state the amount of savings that will be realised.

With the silos in place, the company can negotiate the purchase of grain from other regions in the world instead of primarily the US markets, especially when the grain prices are competitive, said John Carberry, assistant vice- president for energy and mill operations at JBG.

Specifically, the silos will lead to operational efficiency in the handling and storage, as well as logistics involved in purchasing of the grain. The poultry processor, which also produces animal feed, currently stores the inputs of animal feed at a warehouse in Marley Acres, just outside of Old Harbour and three miles from the mill.

"The three miles include the Old Harbour congestion, so you can imagine the inefficiency," said Mr Carberry. Once the company picks up the grain from Port Esquivel, it is taken to the warehouse and then trucked back to the mill when it's needed for use.

Now, the company will take the ingredients directly from the port to the mill, which produces about 230,000 metric tonnes of feed annually. Moreover, the new silos will incorporate storage that is up to standard.

"The correct way to store grain for an extended period is in this type of grain silo — equipped with irrigation tunnel and fans that pull air through and keep the moisture low, because improper storage of corn contributes to the growth of mold and toxin," explained Mr Carberry.

Jamaica Broilers says the project complements its local corn-growing programme, with the company earlier this year indicating that it will begin corn cultivation on 100 acres of land by May.

Speaking at the tour of the Best Dressed Feed Mill grain silos project yesterday, Mr Levy said the company was able to make this investment because it's growing.

"This is a long time coming, it’s a sizable investment," he said. "The reason we are able to do this is because the company is growing and profitable."

JBG’s revenues for the quarter ended January 25, 2014 amounted to $7.8 billion or 10 per cent more than year earlier levels. But the company reported a 36 per cent decline in net profit to $182 million, which it blamed on difficult conditions in the domestic economy, including currency devaluation.

ThePoultrySite News Desk

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