• 100 per cent of Ingham’s Australian sheds are certified RSPCA Approved. Image: Ingham’s
    100 per cent of Ingham’s Australian sheds are certified RSPCA Approved. Image: Ingham’s
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Ingham’s has expanded its capacity by 40 per cent in Victoria, Australia and 50 per cent in New Zealand to meet demand, while focusing on sustainability projects.

Chicken is the most popular meat in Australia, with 70 per cent of households serving chicken at least twice per week and the average person eating around 50 kilograms of chicken each year.

Ensuring capacity to produce chicken meat to fulfil demand, while improving sustainability and assuring animal-welfare, 100 per cent of Ingham’s Australian sheds are certified RSPCA Approved, and the company recently became the first poultry producer to be fully SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Certified in New Zealand. 

Chicken across the states

In Australia, capacity growth has been created by Ingham’s through new broiler and breeder farms, which are purpose-built to the highest standards – with Ingham’s being a producer of RSPCA Approved chicken, and having RSPCA Approved certification across 100 per cent of its sheds.

In recent years, Ingham’s has focused on new projects to drive business growth and sustainability.

Victoria

In East-Gippsland, Victoria, Ingham’s opened two new barn-raised broiler farms in FY2022 and has another due to finish construction in FY2024. When operating at full capacity, these three farms will nurture more than 6.8 million chickens each year.

To support growth, Ingham’s constructed a new hatchery in Pakenham in 2021 which provides the highest level of welfare through HatchCare incubation technology providing optimal temperatures, ventilation and lighting, free access to feed and water, reduces chick-handling stress and ensures a quiet, comfortable environment for chicks as soon as they hatch – resulting in healthier and stronger chicks. Ingham’s Pakenham hatchery has the capacity to nurture 1.1 million eggs into healthy chicks every week and is critical to meet future demand for chicken meat.

At Ingham’s primary processing plant in Somerville, the company invested $18.5 million in new equipment to process increasing meat-chicken numbers more efficiently, including new spin chillers that use less water. The advanced wastewater treatment plant at Somerville enables the recovery of 62 per cent of all water used on site, which is then treated for reuse during processing. Overall, Ingham’s has reduced water usage at Somerville by over 30 per cent and plans to further reduce this.

New South Wales

In Casino, New South Wales, Ingham’s is constructing a new breeder farm to boost production by a further 700,000 eggs per week – which are then hatched and nurtured into meat-chickens. The new farm will be part of Ingham’s northern New South Wales network, which includes existing breeder farms in Coombell, Boorabee Park and Yorklea, feeding into hatcheries at McKees Hill and Mount Alford.

Western Australia

A new water recycling and treatment plant at Ingham’s Osborne Park primary processing facility has reduced incoming water supply by 40 per cent.

Tasmania

In Tasmania, all Ingham’s farms have moved to 100 per cent outdoor free range, and the company’s new and larger distribution centre at Truganina features a 4 Star Green design including solar panels which can supply up to 100 per cent of the centre’s energy consumption. Opened in 2022, Ingham’s Truganina distribution hub allows for increased capacity to meet demand for products with closer location to transport routes. Ingham’s is also set to upgrade its poultry facilities at Sorell in a landmark sustainability project, with the company awarded an $11 million grant from the federal government.

The upgrade works will commence in 2024 and be completed by mid-2025, including a new wastewater plant to process water for sustainable irrigation, reusing up to 50 kilolitres of water per day – located further away from the facility’s nearby wetlands, and installation of a spin chiller to reduce water intensity and increase production output by 30 per cent. Funds from the grant will also be used to install an innovative heat recovery system at Ingham’s Premaydena hatchery to recycle heat released by the embryos during the incubation process.

Ingham’s MD and CEO Andrew Reeves said modern farming practices were a key driver for the company’s success. 

“Ingham’s products are already recognised for our high animal welfare with all of our meat chicken growing farms in Australia certified by the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme to their indoor requirements.

“Our high animal welfare practices have been achieved with thanks to the work of our local farmers whose focus has been on upgrading their farming facilities to support capacity growth combined with modern farming practices that improve the quality of life for our animals,” said Reeves.

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