March 15, 2023
Major South African poultry producer says fat-chicken crisis is getting worse
Astral Foods, the largest poultry producer in South Africa, said that the shortage of small-sized chicken portions for the fast-food industry had worsened due to ongoing electricity outages since December, resulting in a backlog of large live birds on farms, News24 reported.
The company said the problem is not a lack of chickens, but rather an inability to slaughter them due to power cuts. As the chickens wait, they are getting heavier, with many now weighing over 2.4 kg instead of the desired 1.8 kg for fast-food outlets.
Astral Foods had commissioned diesel back-up generators at all its processing sites in February 2023 to address the backlog in supply, which is expected to normalise production for quick-service restaurants once cleared.
Major South African fast food chain KCF temporarily closed some outlets in December due to chicken-related problems.
Other fast-food chains such as Spur and Nando's have also faced chicken supply chain issues due to the power cuts, but have been able to mitigate the situation through a combination of larger and smaller chicken suppliers.