RCL Foods loses R26 million to bird flu

RCL Foods, one of the country’s largest food producers, has lost R26 million through having to cull a large percentage of its chicken stock, following an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza or bird flu.

Pictured: Rob Field, RCL Foods CFO

RCL said in a statement that bird flu - not known to affect humans - had been detected at the company's Heuningdal breeder farm in the Western Cape. A small outbreak was also seen at its Viva breeder farm near Muldersdrift in Gauteng. As a result, the company culled approximately five percent of its total breeder stock.

RCL manufactures a range of both branded and private label food products, including Rainbow and Farmer Brown chicken products.