Rainbow celebrates 60 years of processing excellence and embarks on a new chapter of growth

Rainbow, a prominent player in South Africa’s poultry processing and marketing landscape, is thrilled to unveil a momentous celebration that resonates deeply with our rich legacy – the commemoration of its 60th anniversary. This significant milestone was marked on August 28th with an inspiring event held in the vibrant setting of Hammarsdale. 

This grand occasion serves as a heartfelt tribute to Rainbow’s six decades of unwavering dedication to shaping the poultry processing landscape. Beyond the anniversary, Rainbow also heralds the revival of the 2nd operational shift at the distinguished Hammarsdale P2 processing plant, signifying a strategic leap forward. 

At the heart of this achievement lies the essence of the Poultry Sector Master Plan – a visionary blueprint encompassing facets such as investments, employment generation, poultry exports, and the cultivation of contract growers. This achievement stands as a testament to Rainbow’s commitment to fostering expansion and catalyzing growth within the poultry industry. 

The event brought together key stakeholders, including Honourable Minister Patel of the DTIC, Honourable Minister Didiza of DALRRD, Mr. Super Zuma MEC of Agriculture & Rural Development and Your Worship Ethekwini Mayor Kaunda, who collectively extended their resolute support to the Local Poultry Industry. Their presence underscored Rainbow’s pivotal role in driving progress within the sector and uplifting communities at large. Joining these dignitaries were other esteemed guests including Pieter Louw & Mangaka Meso from REMGRO, GM of SAPA, Mr. Izaak Breitenbach, Contract Growers & Farmers, amongst others. In addition, approximately 230 dedicated Rainbow employees joined in the celebration, epitomizing the company’s profound team spirit, inclusive ethos, and resolute pursuit of success. 

RAINBOW CELEBRATES 60 YEARS OF PROCESSING EXCELLENCE

Rainbow’s strategic expansion of the P2 Processing plant marked a remarkable investment of R220 million, further bolstered by an additional R400 million from contract growers. This comprehensive initiative encompasses an intricate overhaul of the entire supply and production chain within the KwaZulu-Natal region, spanning from farms, hatchery operations to processing facilities. Key project components include the construction of 120 incremental new broiler houses, enhancements to the hatchery, the installation of air-cooling systems and equipment at the processing facility, and the construction of state-of-the-art gyro-type and box freezers. 

In 2017 when Rainbow removed one shift at Hammarsdale P2 as a result of dumping, roughly 1350 employees were retrenched. With the Rainbow Hammarsdale expansion, Rainbow has re-instated roughly 750 jobs, with an additional 100 jobs to be initiated by June 2024. 

Mr. Marthinus Stander, the Managing Director of Rainbow Chicken, emphasized the significance of the Poultry Master Plan, stating, “The Poultry Master Plan is a visionary blue print and is about creating capacity, stimulating demand for chicken, growing exports, transformation and bringing in farmers and other players that were previously excluded”. Marthinus also spoke about Rainbow’s commitment to the Poultry Master Plan and how it goes beyond corporate objectives; given it embodies a vision that aligns with government support to elevate the poultry industry. This plan reflects Rainbow’s dedication to community empowerment, job creation, and contributing to South Africa’s holistic growth. In addition, Marthinus spoke about Rainbow’s dynamic partnership with the Do More Foundation- providing over 18.5million meals per year – and how it underscores Rainbow’s commitment to social impact and community betterment. 

Rainbow also achieved a new level of distinction with the esteemed presence of Dr. Gcina Mhlope, a daughter of Hammarsdale, and esteemed Author, Storyteller and Founding Director of the Gcinamasiko Arts & Heritage. Dr. Mhlope’s inspiring message emphasized the importance of excellence in all pursuits, resonating with attendees. Through her captivating storytelling, she brought a heartfelt touch to the event, reminding us of the power of personal narratives. Gcina states: “Put a stamp of excellence on everything you do”. Event attendees were also graced with a special performance from our very own Rainbow employees from L9, with a passionate song wishing Rainbow a Happy 60th Anniversary. 

In Honourable Minister Patel’s keynote address, he elaborated on, and confirmed his commitment to, the Poultry Master Plan, and the vital importance of a sustainable local economy and GDP growth. Hon. Minister Patel shared his support and congratulations to Rainbow for their efforts, stating that Rainbow showcases “optimism of spirit”. Honourable Minister Didiza, originally from Hammarsdale, delivered an inspiring speech confirming the need to generate funding for the establishment of contract growers and infrastructure at large. In relation to Rainbow’s tenacity with Rainbow’s turnaround plan, Hon. Minister Didiza states “Tough times never last, but tough people do”. 

In celebration of its 60th anniversary, Rainbow KZN Director Mr. Mooketsi Ncube unveiled a beautiful chicken statue crafted by a local artisan. Rainbow’s alignment with the Poultry Master Plan reaffirms its role as a driving force within the poultry industry. With an unwavering commitment to progress, growth, and community development, Rainbow stands as an exemplar for the entire industry, forging ahead with confidence to shape a flourishing and sustainable poultry sector. 

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