Astral celebrates 50 Years as a Ross customer

South African Ross Customer celebrates landmark anniversary
calendar icon 30 July 2022
clock icon 3 minute read

Astral, our Ross® Grandparent (GP) customer in South Africa, recently celebrated a milestone anniversary of 50 years as a Ross customer.

Astral is South Africa’s preferred integrated poultry producer, listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s top 100 companies with over 4,000 shareholders, and is ranked in the top 36 poultry companies globally. Astral processes approximately 5.8 million birds per week and its key activities consist of:

  • Manufacturing animal feeds
  • Distribution of Ross 308 day-old Parent Stock (PS) chicks in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland
  • Production and sale of day-old chicks and hatching eggs
  • Breeder and broiler production
  • Processing operations
  • Sales and distribution of various key poultry brands including County Fair, Festive, Goldi and Mountain Valley

Astral executives including Chris Schutte, CEO, and Gary Arnold, Group Chief Operating Officer, visited Aviagen’s R&D headquarters in Scotland on 6 June 2022, to meet with the Aviagen Turkey Middle East and Africa (TMEA) management team and Santiago Avendaño, Genetics Director.

Santiago gave a presentation to the team where he shared the updates in R&D developments and what we can expect from the Ross 308 breeder and broiler performance in the future. Currently, the Ross 308 is performing extremely well in Sub Saharan Africa, with top breeder results of 184 hatching eggs per hen housed, 154 chicks and 83% hatchability at 60 weeks.

At the broiler level, the Ross 308 continues to deliver exceptional performance. All of the R&D efforts in our breeding program are being delivered in the field, includingyear-on-year improvements in growth, Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR), meat yield, better robustness and excellent livability, which is extremely important to the farmers within Sub Saharan Africa. In South Africa, the Ross 308 broiler is producing impressive results, with top performance delivering an average daily gain (ADG) of 59.27 g, FCR of 1.313, and livability of 96.79, which combined delivers a European Performance Efficiency Factor (EPEF) of 447.

Astral were also presented with a commemorative award to celebrate our 50 years of collaboration.

“Aviagen is honored to have had the opportunity to work with Astral for the past 50 years. Their hard work, dedication, and loyalty to the Ross breed is evident and we would like to thank them for their continued success and look forward to continuing our collaboration in the future,” commented Robert Roszkopf, Aviagen Business Manager, SSA.

Gary Arnold, Group Chief Operating Officer, Astral added, “The Ross brand has provided us and our customers with tremendous success for 50 years. The Ross 308 is the desired bird for our integration and our customers in South Africa and the birds are achieving excellent breeder and broiler performances. We would like to thank the Aviagen team for their service and support over the years, and we look forward to witnessing the further growth and success of the Ross brand for years to come.”

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