Irvine’s Group announced that Acacia Foods, B.V. and Tyson Foods, Inc. have invested in Buchan Ltd., the Group’s Holding Company, allowing for strategic growth through the Sub-Saharan region of Africa.
The Irvine’s Group has confirmed that Acacia Foods, B.V. and Tyson Foods, Inc. have committed to a long-term strategic investment in the Irvine’s Group holding company, Buchan Ltd., which owns and controls Cobb Africa, Irvine’s Botswana, Irvine’s Mozambique, and Irvine’s Tanzania.
“Irvine’s aims to be the leading and most trusted chicken company in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Craig Irvine, CEO of the Irvine’s Group. “Regarding the expertise and depth of the new investment group, Irvine further noted that in Acacia Foods, B.V., led by former Tyson Foods, Inc. CEO, Donnie Smith, we have found a kindred spirit with vast experience and an unrivaled passion for developing and integrating poultry throughout Africa. Donnie’s insight and depth in the poultry industry along with the resources of Tyson Foods, Inc. as a world leader in the poultry industry, allows us to accelerate our success across the continent.”
The Irvine’s Group, started as a family-run business in 1954 with operations in Zimbabwe, has rapidly expanded into an integrated poultry business servicing the Sub-Saharan region of Africa.
Emphasizing an interest and desire to participate in the expansion of a business critical to the daily welfare of Africans, Smith offered that “current projections predict that the population on the African continent will double within the next 3-4 decades to approximately two billion. Affordable sources of protein will be increasingly important as the population swells. Poultry is the most efficient land-based converter of feed to protein. Having spent 36 years at Tyson Foods, Inc., I am thrilled to be working with the Irvines to fulfill our shared dream of creating affordable food solutions through the poultry value chain across Sub-Saharan Africa.”
Irvine’s has been producing chicken in Southern Africa since the 1950’s and, during this time, the company has grown from a single room in a home to producing over 1,5 million day old chicks per week across Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Botswana. With roots in Zimbabwe, Irvine’s has expanded to cater for Africa’s growing appetite for the finest poultry products. Today Irvine’s reaches 22 countries across Africa, in which it supports local industries through the supply of Cobb Broilers Breeders, nutritional products, animal health products, equipment and technical support. Furthermore, wherever Irvine’s works, it seeks to uplift communities, often investing in training programs to assist people – particularly the youth – to develop skills and earn income. Irvine’s Purpose is to Change Lives in Africa by Producing Affordable Protein and Growing Businesses.
About Acacia Foods, B.V.
Donnie Smith led Tyson Foods, Inc. as its CEO from 2009 until the end of 2016. He has experience in almost every aspect of the business, having started at Tyson in poultry operations in Tennessee and then moving to Tyson headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas to work as a commodity buyer. He became director of commodity purchasing in 1991 and proceeded to move up the ranks to become CEO in 2009. Smith graduated from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville with a bachelor’s degree in animal science. Donnie and his wife Terry have a passion for the poultry industry and for Africa.
About Tyson Foods
Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE:TSN) is one of the world’s largest food companies and a recognized leader in protein. Founded in 1935 by John W. Tyson and grown under three generations of family leadership, the company has a broad portfolio of products and brands like Tyson®, Jimmy Dean®, Hillshire Farm®, Ball Park®, Wright®, Aidells®, ibp® and State Fair®. Tyson Foods innovates continually to make protein more sustainable, tailor food for everywhere it’s available and raise the world’s expectations for how much good food can do. Headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas, the company has 114,000 team members. Through its Core Values, Tyson Foods strives to operate with integrity, create value for its shareholders, customers, communities and team members and serve as stewards of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it. Visit www.tysonfoods.com.