The World Ostrich Association was formed in September, 2002. The 100th edition of the newsletter was first published in July 2011. It reported, with regret, that the industry continued to witness slow development in production when demand for our products remains strong. It reported how over the years the newsletters have discussed many of the reasons for this.
The saying “No Production No Industry” is proving to be so true – a statement made by a speaker more than a decade ago by an MD of a South African tannery who was working hard to build a market….and frustrated by the unreliability of production. The production on farm has to be in place, efficiently producing sufficient number of birds to provide a regular, consistent supply to the markets.
The illustration below is a simplistic illustration that clearly shows the interdependency of all activities in the production chain and the importance of ensuring end markets. The relevance of this is that all too often ostrich farming was introduced to a new country, too much focus was placed on selling offspring to new farmers – rather than developing the full infrastructure to ensure slaughter and marketing of the products of ostrich were in place. This resulted in no continuity of sales revenue entering the industry generating profits available for each sector to re-invest at every step of the way to support further production.
Where sales have developed, the standards of farming were too poor to maintain consistency of supply of slaughter birds and therefore the supply of product. This is especially evident in South Africa where volume was not the issue further proving that whilst production standards remain poor on farm, it is impossible to produce the commercially viable birds and a sustainable supply of product to the markets.
Understanding the causes for the poor production remains the first step to putting in place the solutions to satisfy the market’s interest in our products.