Sovereign Foods : Full of Goodness

Josh RayfieldLily Sawyer
Josh Rayfield - Senior Head of Projects Lily Sawyer - Senior Editor
Grilled chicken breast served on black slate

Dedicated to delivering quality poultry products to South African businesses and consumers since 1948, Sovereign Foods is today the third largest poultry producer in the region.

FULL OF GOODNESS

Sovereign Foods (Sovereign) has a proud 75-year history of chicken farming in the Eastern Cape. What started as a family business in 1948 has now grown into a fully-fledged and integrated poultry business. 

Today, Sovereign emerges as one of the major poultry producers in Africa. With a focus on quality, the company seeks to continue to provide superior produce and exciting meal solutions for both its national and international customers. 

As a major contributor to the Eastern Cape’s local economy, Sovereign has based its operations in and around the Rocklands Valley near Uitenhage since its inception and is deeply committed to supporting its home province through job creation and social investment.  

Providing 1,300 direct jobs and over 4,000 indirect jobs for citizens of the Eastern Cape, this is no small operation; the company’s recent exponential growth has necessitated expansion.  

Having extended to include the addition of its Hartbeespoort facility, Sovereign hopes to continue to grow, whilst having a positive impact on the local communities in the areas where it operates.   

A STREAMLINED OPERATION

Contributing to Sovereign’s historical success is a streamlined, efficient operation that seamlessly delivers value to its customers, suppliers, and stakeholders.  

Over the years, Sovereign has struck the delicate balance between reducing waste and increasing efficiency by carefully monitoring each aspect of its production, all while maintaining the high-quality products It has become known for.  

Having invested in state-of-the-art equipment, Sovereign’s facilities have gained a reputation for excellence. The company uses world-leading Stork processing equipment, whilst its storage and loading facility ensures the safe handling and storage of products. An FSSC 2000-accredited processing and packing facility ensures full consumer transparency in the sense that labelling and safety regulations are guaranteed.  

With every aspect of its operations underpinned by value, innovation, and sustainability, Sovereign sets itself apart from the competition.  

Striving to deliver goodness that provides not only nutritional value, but value for money, Sovereign’s fully integrated operation ensures efficiency coupled with high standards of food security.  

Female worker in protective workwear in factory

A SUSTAINABLE SUPPLIER OF CHOICE

As an industry leader in eco-friendly practices, Sovereign’s reputation as a sustainable South African poultry supplier of choice precedes it.  

Committed to making continual improvements to reduce its environmental impact, the company’s approach to sustainability is four-pronged.  

Firstly, the welfare of its birds is paramount to Sovereign, and employees are rigorously trained in bird welfare standards and the Animal Handling Code of Conduct. As such, the company’s livestock thrives in a 120-metre chicken house, complete with a climate control system to ensure the health and well-being of each bird. 

Secondly, as a company driven by innovation, Sovereign is equipped with leading farming and processing equipment designed with sustainability in mind. Its high-quality facilities and fully integrated operations contribute to the company’s overall sustainability by achieving maximum efficiency.   

Thirdly, increasing energy efficiency and reducing energy consumption are integral to Sovereign, whose facilities have consistently achieved a NOSA Five-Star rating. More recently, the company has been exploring the use of solar energy to power parts of its operations.  

Finally, in recycling all dry waste and implementing water recycling measures across its facilities, Sovereign epitomises safe and responsible waste disposal and sets a precedent for the wider industry.   

Happy workers smiling together

SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE

Introduced to serve and enhance the social and economic landscape of the areas surrounding its sites, Sovereign Cares is the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme that focuses on the development of previously disadvantaged individuals and aids projects that support, uplift, and grow the local community.  

Each year, the company sponsors not-for-profit organisations around the Eastern Cape and Gauteng Province, providing items such as food vouchers, educational toys,  
and stationery, to name just a few.  

For example, initiatives such as Leamogetswe Place of Safety and Kutullo Disability are financially supported by Sovereign Cares. The former focuses on the needs of young people in Atteridgeville, Pretoria West, whilst the latter provides care for those living with disabilities in the Brits area.  

In this way, community members assisted by Sovereign Cares have benefitted from the initiative, contributing to the company’s overall dedication to making a positive impact on the areas in which it operates.   

STAFF AT THE CENTRE

Sovereign maintains that its hardworking, committed staff are what has made the poultry company what it is today. Affectionately known as the ‘Sovereign Family’, the company’s staff enjoy a work culture rooted in respect, efficiency, customer satisfaction, self-belief, quality, and team success.  

As such, it believes in empowering employees and improving their skill sets through relevant training and development initiatives.  

Regular training programmes and workshops support employee growth, whilst many benefit from Sovereign’s assistance in enrolling them in university certified training courses.  

Not only do these training initiatives provide opportunities for advancement, but they also contribute to employee morale.  

In addition, Sovereign’s annual Long Service Awards seek to celebrate the company’s dedicated employees. This year’s ceremony honoured long-standing staff members who had been with the company for 10, 15, 20, and 25 years.  

Going forward, Sovereign hopes to continue cultivating and rewarding its loyal staff base by prioritising their needs and investing in their continued growth.

Smiling veterinarian in white coat examining a chicken
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By Josh Rayfield Senior Head of Projects
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Josh Rayfield is a Senior Head of Projects for Outlook Publishing. Josh is responsible for showcasing corporate stories in our digital B2B magazines and Digital Platforms, and sourcing collaborations with Business Leaders, Brands, and C-suite Executives to feature in future editions. Josh is actively seeking opportunities to collaborate. Reach out to Josh to discover how you and your business could be our next cover story.
By Lily Sawyer Senior Editor
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Lily Sawyer is an in-house writer for Africa Outlook Magazine, where she is responsible for interviewing corporate executives and crafting original features for the magazine, corporate brochures, and the digital platform.