The CIC Livestock Solutions sector is a key player in the field, synonymous with quality and expertise in the industry.
With a wealth of experience and excellence in the agriculture industry, CIC Holdings entered the livestock subsector in 2002 when it acquired Nutrena (Pvt) Ltd, the local subsidiary of Cargill Inc. of USA. This acquisition gave birth to the Feeds Group; subsequent additions to the livestock segment include dairy farming, poultry farming and veterinary care.
Sri Lanka is a growing market for the livestock industry, as rising per capita income in the country affects the dietary habits of its people, with chicken, eggs, and milk playing a bigger part in their diets, supplementing their protein intake. This shift in dietary habits has a positive influence throughout the supply chain, with producers of chicken, eggs, and milk having a higher demand for their products. As a major upstream manufacturer, CIC Livestock Solutions stands to gain from this shift.
With this increased demand in focus, CIC Livestock Solutions has ventured into manufacturing and marketing animal feed, rearing broiler breeders and producing quality day-old chicks to the market, rearing broiler chickens and the processing and sale of frozen and chilled chicken meat, and setting up large-scale dairy farms in many parts of the island.
CIC Livestock Solutions operates in collaboration with a network of supply and distribution partners and out-grower farmers to ensure high levels of productivity and island-wide distribution of its products. To this end, it uses the services of a team consistent of a significant number of veterinarians, agriculture graduates, and other highly skilled professionals in their relevant fields.
CIC Feeds (Pvt) Ltd started when CIC Holdings PLC acquired Nutrena (Pvt.) Ltd., the local subsidiary of Cargill Inc. of USA; this marked CIC’s initial venture into the livestock solutions industry. The company was registered under section 17 of the BOI act of 1994 and renamed as CIC Feeds (Pvt.) Ltd.
CIC Feeds manufactures and supplies animal feed and produces high quality day-old broiler chicks for farmers. Within a short time-span, CIC Feeds grew its market share fourfold in the animal feeds and day-old chicks markets by expanding its breeder farms and hatchery operations. The company grew to be a vertically integrated operation by entering the broiler farming industry in 2004 and the processing of chicken meat in 2007. CIC is recognised as a source of hygienic, high quality manufacturer, and it has been accredited with ISO 22000 and HACCP certifications. In addition to this, it inculcates long-lasting relationships with farming communities of Sri Lanka by sharing expertise with players in the poultry and livestock industries.
The categories of feed sold by the company focuses mainly on broiler feed, layer feed, poultry breeder feed, and feed for cattle, all segments where the company has a high market share. CIC Feeds mainly operates around the upstream activities of the livestock supply chain as a provider of high-quality feed and day-old chicks.
CIC Feeds installed a state-of-the-art hatchery in late 2014, and this hatchery is acclaimed as one of the finest automated hatcheries in Sri Lanka, encompassing the latest technological achievements in incubation. Two new breeder farms have been added, and the highest levels of biosecurity are maintained, in addition to more efficient and technologically advanced breeder cages and related equipment.
CIC Feeds has become a trusted name in the livestock farming community of Sri Lanka, with the CIC name synonymous with high quality and consistency. The company’s reputation for reliability and care in the animal nutrition industry has been further established by becoming an ISO certified company by embracing international standards of food safety in all its processes. The company uses a formulation system to produce formulae at optimum cost for its feed mixers. Every batch of raw materials is subjected to stringent quality checks. All mixing is done based on specifications fed to the automated machinery with optimised feed being the final product. Analyses are conducted through NIR, an Amino Acid Analyser, and through wet chemical analysis to provide accurate input data to the formulation system. This also ensures that the specified parameters of the finished products are not compromised.
The company’s sophisticated breeder farms and state-of-the-art hatchery, all of which adhere to the strictest bio-security standards producer premium quality healthy day-old chicks. These chicks are vaccinated with IBD using the INOVO system, which vaccinates embryonic chicks on the 18th day. This system is unique in Sri Lanka.
CIC Feeds has, in recent years, become one of the few vertically integrated companies in Sri Lanka, with its commercial chicken rearing farms and state-of-the-art automated chicken processing factory being added to its repertoire.
CIC Holdings’ dairy breeding farms support the local dairy industry by upgrading the genetic make-up of the local herd, thereby contributing to the steady increase of dairy production of small-scale producers in the country.
The two 500-acre dairy breeding farms are in two locations: one in Welikanda in the Polonnaruwa District and the other in Punani in the Batticaloa District. Both farms currently have a herd of over 500 cows and buffaloes.
The development of these two farms, which are located in remote areas of the dry zone, was done with proper housing, pasturelands, reservoirs, and scientific herd management methodologies. They have succeeded in making significant strides in improving the genetic make-up of local cows by using a scientific breeding process. This has, in turn, contributed to cows being more productive and adaptable to the local environments. Both these factors together address major constraints in the development of the local dairy industry.
Fresh milk produced at these two farms is supplied to CIC Dairies, where a range of products is manufactured using it. The dairy breeding farms also supply genetically upgraded young heifers and cows to small-scale milk producers in their respective regions.
CIC Poultry Farms Ltd is a subsidiary of CIC Feeds (Pvt.) Ltd., and came into operation as a result of CIC Feeds aiming to become a vertically integrated poultry enterprise. The commercial farm was established in 2004 with the creation of 16 environment-controlled poultry houses operating with the strictest bio-security standards within a 50-acre block of land. A state-of-the-art automated processing plant was established in 2007 with equipment imported from Stork BV, Holland.
CIC Poultry Farms sells frozen and chilled chicken products to the Sri Lankan consumer markets under the brand name “CIC Chicken”, now a household name. It has gained a reputation as the highest quality chicken available in the country.
CIC’s poultry business is almost totally vertically integrated, as it supplies its own materials such as day-old-chicks, feeds, and pharmaceuticals. This also ensures high levels of traceability, as it is under one management and supervision from farm to fork. The adoption of internationally accepted food processing techniques further enhances the reputation of being the safest chicken in Sri Lanka.
The chicken processing factory, one of the key elements of the vertical integration, is one of the finest in South Asia, with cut-up lines and evisceration lines improving process efficiency. They also ensure high standards of hygiene and food safety by minimising human contact with the product.
CIC Poultry Farms added another broiler farm in 2014 to increase the capacity of chicken rearing. The capacity of the processing plant was increased to accommodate the new supply. The addition of new equipment, such as internal and external carcass washing machines, a liver and gizzard separator and cleaning machine, and a grading machine were installed to enable a higher level of automation and to further reduce human handling of chicken. This new equipment therefore enhances food safely and the shelf life of meat. These investments have helped improve environmental performance owing to reduced emissions.
CIC considers social responsibility as an important cog in its processes and environmental protection and has installed a sophisticated water treatment plant and a rendering plant to this end.
CIC Chicken products are renowned for its quality and traceability from its very own plant that has been given the ISO 22000 and HACCP certifications. The CIC brand is especially popular in the hospitality industry and the public as the chicken is well known for its flavour, safety, and quality. CIC Chicken product are packed in special bags made of shrinkable non-permeable materials that seal the products completely. This reduces the exposure to environmental hazards to negligible amounts. CIC aims to supply a wholesome, hygienic, and safe-to-eat product, and thus uses industry-best processing and freezing practices.
In an environment in which the livestock and poultry industries grow at an unprecedented rate, the demand for veterinary care products has seen a massive spike in recent years. This trend is expected to keep going for the foreseeable future, and CIC Vetcare (Pvt) Ltd uniquely positioned to cater to the needs of these industries as well as the domestic pet market. CIC Vetcare offers a broad range of veterinary products manufactured by some of the world’s leading companies in the industry.
Among the products imported and distributed from reputed international suppliers are veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines, feed additives for livestock farmers, and a range of products for household pets.
CIC Vetcare represents Merial (acquired by Boehringer Ingelheim), Zoetis, Zydus Animal Health, Tithebarn, Chuan Yi, and Hilton Pharma.
The company was also able to persuade one of the Principals, Zoetis, the world’s largest animal health company, to install an INOVO machine for the first time in the South East Asian region at CIC Feeds’ hatchery. This advanced machine selects fertile eggs and precisely administers vaccines to chicken embryos on its 18th day.
CIC Vetcare is also involved in increasing awareness of veterinary care and demonstrating the range of veterinary products available. It does this by regularly distributing literature and by conducting training workshops through a network of expert field staff and veterinary surgeons to keep farmers and breeders up-to-date on current trends, risks, and technologies. CIC Vetcare also conducts sessions on best practices in taking care of livestock and provides one-to-one technical advice for poultry breeding companies, broiler buy back operators and large or medium scale farmers.