Chicko dismantles chicken cages
By Glenda Willie
The Management of Chicko Farm has taken steps to dismantle chicken cages which used to hold approximately 20, 000 chickens.
This was confirmed by the owner, Ken Thode who affirmed that the downfall of his business is the result of the government allowing imported eggs.
He said even COVID-19 has made it more difficult this year, as the company cannot bring chicks in from overseas.
“Imported eggs does not help Vanuatu’s economy,” Thode stressed.
The Chicko Farm owner said local poultry businesses cannot compete with companies that are importing eggs because the poultry operators have to pay for chicken feed from abroad. The company has incurred Vt70 million loss since that decision, according to Thode.
Early January the management of Chicko Farm destroyed eggs worth of hundreds of thousands of vatu because according to the owner of Chicko Farm, the business was not able to sell out due to importation of eggs by other local by few egg distributors. Chiko Farm have seen a substantial fall in revenue as demand has fallen across the board.
The Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry has just released a report which confirmed that “Chiko were one of the first businesses to be impacted by global shipping disruption, as first they lost 20,000 baby chicks due to difficulties caused by importing during COVID-19, and then there was a three-month delay in their packaging when the Evergreen blocked the Suez Canal.
“This led to them being unable to distribute their eggs as normal. Since then, the shipping costs for their other imported goods – most notably feed – have increased by at least a third.
“Chiko have reduced production and have roughly halved their staff, and at times have been forced to sell their eggs at a loss. They are preparing plans for being able to continue production if there is an outbreak.”
In his 12 years in Vanuatu, Thode said he invested approximately AUD 14 million.