Published on May 11, 2020
New investments in breeding and R&D benefit traditional poultry
SASSO has been a pioneer in traditional poultry since the beginning and the company has grown and developed itself, based on history and tradition, in France at first. Today, the company exports its colored chickens around the world and has strategic bases in different countries.
For about ten years now, we have invested in business development and welcomed new sales representatives for Africa, Asia and the Americas. Next to that, we collaborate with our Grand Parent (GP) stock customers all over the world. This has created the basis for SASSO’s ambition for further growth and prepared us for a sustainable future. The year 2018 marks a milestone when we joined Hendrix Genetics, a global multi-species breeding company. It has offered SASSO strategic synergies allowing us to reinforce our business presence, but also and foremost to invest in research and development to improve our broiler line genetics.
New strategic bases to secure our exports
With our international expansion, the issue of secure production and exports was quickly raised, in particular, in cases of sanitary bans. For this reason, we have worked together with our GP stock customers in Brazil and Canada for many years, and more recently with Hendrix Genetics’ sister companies already present in those countries to establish our own base.
We are proud to have placed our first GP flocks at the facilities of Hendrix Genetics in Brazil and in Canada end of 2019. Beside our historic French base in Sabres, these two new sites guarantee additional export options. The Brazilian site will facilitate exports to South America and Africa and the Canadian site to North and Central America.
This major step also improves the security of supply of our genetic lines to Africa, which is a key region for SASSO, especially with regards to the SAPPSA project (Sustainable Access to Poultry Parental Stock to Africa). End of 2018, Hendrix Genetics received a multi-annual grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to execute this project with the purpose to help African smallholder farmers by supplying them genetically improved breeder lines that fit the needs of the continent. This is just another initiative for SASSO to continue investing in this region with international and local partners, on many projects like SAPPSA or Poulet du Faso in Burkina Faso in collaboration with Ceva.
The objective of the latter program is to supply chicks with high-quality genetics that can address the farmers’ needs for poultry able to thrive under local climatic conditions. To achieve this objective, we carry out recurrent tests on our Pedigree offspring under local commercial conditions. These tests enable us to study the effect of the environment on the performance of our tested lines.
Investing in the quality of our products
Research and development are definitely areas where SASSO invests heavily to guarantee high-quality animal genetics. Over the last five years, we have reinforced our selection schemes of our major lines with shorter selection intervals thanks to new rearing tools and better equipped buildings. We also installed new feed stations to include new measurements in our breeding program. These data can now be analyzed in a more efficient and precise way with our inhouse developed database Flexybreed and our data gathering Flexytool. To support these investments, we have hired new colleagues in breeding and R&D who continuously work on improving our products.
R&D continues to be an important part of our new strategy towards 2025. It involves turning our existing GP rearing tools in Sabres into R&D tools and taken over a rearing farm currently operated by the group’s Turkey Business Unit.
Finally, the quality of our products is linked to the performance of our hatcheries. That is why we started the complete renovation of our hatchery in Soulitré in 2019. Most of our chicks are coming from this production facility and are then exported to all parts of the world. After a first stage of extension and reconfiguration of the stocking and hatching areas, we continue with the modernization of the incubation area.
SASSO invests in the future, supported by a management team and passionate employees with the common objective to further develop traditional poultry as true alternative, respecting People and Animals.