On May 29, Global poultry breeding company Aviagen® and sister company Hubbard®, along with their customers in Bangladesh, an airline, freight forwarders, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock and export colleagues shipped a combined order of Ross®, Indian River®, and Hubbard day-old chicks to Bangladesh, despite passenger flight route restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The next day, the healthy, well-cared-for chicks arrived safely at the farms of customers throughout the country. The chicks will be multiplied to produce 110,393,893 kilograms (243,376,874 pounds) of meat for the Bangladeshi people.
Solution to COVID-19 export challenges
The Aviagen Group is committed to ensure a safe and secure supply of breeding stock to customers around the world. Because flight route reductions imposed by the current COVID-19 pandemic prevented the companies from using usual export routes, the logistics teams needed to find a creative solution to assure food security for the people of Bangladesh. Thus, the group contacted Qatar Airways Cargo and utilized their flight traveling from Doha, Qatar to Hong Kong to make a stop in Bangladesh and deliver the 168,760 day-old breeding stock chicks – the largest single shipment of day-old breeding stock chicks ever. The strategy was for the chicks bound for the poultry producers in Bangladesh to share one flight to Bangladesh. The birds were shipped from three locations – Chicago in the United States, and Paris and Amsterdam in Europe – all converging in Doha, Qatar. From there they boarded the diverted flight of a Qatar Airways Boeing 777 freighter to travel to Bangladesh, where they were dispatched to the individual farms of Aviagen customers Kazi Grandparents Ltd. (Indian River) and Nahar Agro Complex Ltd. (Ross), as well as Hubbard customer Aftab Hatchery Ltd. The chicks arrived safely and on time on May 30.
Challenging logistical feat
The successful receipt of 168,760 breeding healthy chicks to customer farms in Bangladesh required extraordinary logistical planning, organization and collaboration among all parties involved: the team of export specialists, Qatar Airways Cargo, JAS Worldwide freight forwarding company, NNR global logistics company, the Bangladesh Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Foreign Agriculture Service (FSA), USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHID) liaison, the three customers and others.
From the moment the chicks left their respective hatcheries in the United States and Europe, until they arrived safely on customer farms in Bangladesh, their health and welfare were the top priority for the scores of people managing their care. They were kept well-hydrated, and their temperature and airflow were controlled and monitored along every step of the journey. All international animal transportation guidelines were followed to ensure the health, safety, and comfort of the chicks, and as an added safeguard, an animal attendant stayed with the birds and cared for them throughout the flight from Doha.
Several characteristics contribute to the historic nature of this shipment. First, it represents the most grandparent and breeding parent stock chicks ever to be exported internationally in a single shipment. And, it is the first time multiple brands of multi-generational chicks destined for different poultry companies have shared an international flight.
Security of supply for Bangladesh
With a population of nearly 165 million, Bangladesh is a country boasting a growing economy. According to the World Economic Forum, the country’s Gross Domestic