The Ostrich is a Bird of Africa and it’s true home is in South Africa’s Klein Karoo region.
South Africa, with 85% global market share, remains the leader in the Ostrich industry since the onset of Ostrich farming in 1864. This is due to Klein Karoo's ideal climate, the vast expertise and experience of all role players and the continuous investment in research ensuring high quality birds.
This arid, sun drenched land, in the southernmost region of Africa, is home to Klein Karoo International Ltd, KKI, the world’s foremost producer of Ostrich products, supplying 65% of all Ostrich meat, leather and feathers sold internationally. Our Klein Karoo brand name and its blue bird have become synonymous with the best the exotic ostrich has to offer.
Local farmers had already begun domesticating ostriches in this area over 150 years ago. The Klein Karoo Cooperative was founded in 1945 in the town of Oudtshoorn. Since then, Ostriches have been bred for optimum production and commitment to quality that is recognised by consumers of our products worldwide.
Klein Karoo International Ltd has approximately 250 farmers that supply birds to the company. These ostrich farmers are leaders in their field. They practise scientific farming management programmes, monitored by KKI, the Directorates of Animal Health, and Veterinary Public Health. These monitoring programmes ensure that each bird remains healthy right up to the slaughter date, producing meat of the highest quality.
KLEIN KAROO INTERNATIONAL has three export ostrich abattoirs (ZA92, ZA118, ZA8). These abattoirs have been designed to comply with the very stringent hygiene controls stipulated by importing countries in Europe and elsewhere.
Klein Karoo International is FSSC 22000 certified. KKI’s food safety system monitors not only meat products, but also the manufacturing process as a whole at various levels. This system consists of a process flow that monitors critical points (HACCP).
Klein Karoo International has a resident ostrich specialist veterinarian.
At the fully equipped laboratory an expert team of microbiologists and food technologists set the benchmark for traceability and food safety. The producer raising ostriches is the first link in the quality control system. KKI continues with this control process in the slaughter, processing, marketing and selling of meat. Monitoring takes place in such an in-depth and stringent manner that it is possible for the end-consumer to trace the ostrich meat on the plate all the way back to the farm of origin.
PRODUCTION OF OSTRICHES - ANIMAL WELFARE
Klein Karoo International’s ostriches are raised to a live mass of about 90 kg in natural surroundings on privately owned farms. The producers are responsible farmers, aiming to raise the birds in the most acceptable way according to international legislation. All ostriches from KKI are bred using good animal welfare protocol.
The five freedoms are followed to ensure animal welfare:
• Freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition.
• Freedom from discomfort, pain and injury.
• Freedom from disease.
• Freedom from fear and distress.
• Freedom to express normal behaviour.
NUTRITION OF OSTRICHES
Ostriches are fed on pastures such as alfalfa, wheat and alfalfa hay produced by the farmers. The birds on pastures receive additional energy and protein supplements to ensure a balanced ration. This will include energy sources such as maize, barley and oats; protein sources such as soya and canola; and roughage sources such as alfalfa and bran.
Vitamins and minerals are also added.
No animal protein sources are used and no hormones and growth stimulants are administered.
The meat is free of any systematically administered antibiotics. Klein Karoo International takes part in a rigorous independent residue (growth stimulants and other chemicals) monitoring programme on all meat.
PROCESSING OF OSTRICH MEAT
The birds are slaughtered under humane and halal conditions. After slaughter, the carcasses are deboned. The utilisable meat, mainly from the leg, is prepared as various primal cuts and meat is portioned into final products according to clients’ specific requirements.
KLEIN KAROO INTERNATIONAL IS WORKING ACTIVELY WITH different empowerment and community projects aimed at uplifting inhabitants, with special reference to previously disadvantaged groups by acting as a mentor, investor and private sector partner within a public private partnership.
Ostrich production is a capital intensive and technologically demanding farming enterprise. Many black farmers are unable to use their land productively due to a lack of capital and access to proper extension services.
Our vision and mission in this regard is to establish small-scale sustainable ostrich farmers.
The project has proven itself to be a success in assisting grassroots level enterprises for rural development.
One example is the ‘Peddie -Ostrich Project’. Emerging entrepreneurs are incorporated in the industry with implementation of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE). This project involves about 40 small-scale farmers. They produce 2 500 slaughter birds per annum.
A taste experience from South Africa
Just as you would, when you prepare fillet and steak at home, Klein Karoo International sear their ostrich meat, by grilling it. This to ensure juiciness and tenderness!
Using the latest food technology, the Klein Karoo International Pre-grilled Ostrich range offers you, the consumer, a Tasty, Healthy, Convenient, High Quality, Food Safety Compliant and Long Shelf Life Product. Our product is available 12 months of the year, enabling us to develop a sustainable industry.