JA Broilers says Iowa bird flu outbreak won’t affect its US operations Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The Jamaica Broilers Group (JBG) says the current outbreak of bird flu in Iowa, which has so far affected over a million birds, will not affect its United State- based operations or its expansion plans.

Iowa agriculture officials on Monday said that another commercial egg farm in the state has been infected with bird flu, the first commercial case identified since April when a turkey farm was infected, the Associated Press has reported.

But for Stephen Levy, President of JBG’s US operations, with over 60 million table egg layers in the state of Iowa, the infection represents less than three per cent of that state’s production.

The current situation will therefore “have no effect on the meat market in the US at this time and won’t affect our expansion plans,” Levy said in a written response to Loop News.

Iowa has been the hardest hit with bird losses at more than 13.3 million this year before the latest farm outbreak was found infected, AP reported.

Fifteen commercial farms have also been infected since this year, it said, including turkey, egg-laying hens and other chickens. Five backyard flocks have also been infected.

JBG operates Welp Hatchery in Iowa; International Poultry Breeders (IPB) Georgia, IPB Arkansas – formerly England Farms Inc. – IPB Hatchery in Pennsylvania, Crystal Feeds Mill in Georgia and Best Dressed Chicken South Carolina, concentrating on poultry, fertile eggs and agricultural equipment.

The company expects to open its expanded South Carolina facility in February 2023 and is aiming to double output following a US$20 million investment.

JBG acquired Gentry’s Poultry Company in 2019 and rebranded to the Best Dressed Chicken USA, BDC USA. Operations at BDC US has seen a 100 per cent growth since the acquisition, the company reported.

Revenue from BDC USA, which stood at US$14 million for the financial year 2019-2020, grew to US$38 million in 2020-2021 and US$85 million for 2021-2022, the company recently revealed to shareholders.

The US market contributed 44 per cent of the group’s revenues, for the financial year ended April 2022.