Our Story + Our Values + Our Commitment
Attila africa Poultry was founded in 2019, based on a simple goal to produce the best fresh chicken in kenya and entire africa. We set out to study every step involved in raising and processing chickens so as to define and then implement methods which we determined would result in the highest quality finished products. In other words, to do things the right way. Not necessarily the easiest, fastest or most efficient way. Simply the right way.
We believed—and we still believe—that the right way includes the proper treatment and care of our chickens and also our people, and the utmost care and discretion in how we process and package our product. Further, we believed that we could do so while keeping a careful eye on the environment and on the sustainability and renewability of the resources we would need to access. We knew we would have to be able to do things efficiently, but we also believed that consumers would be willing to pay a little more for a superior product produced with these principles in mind. We have restored taste to store-bought chicken in this country, and we take great pride in that accomplishment.
We’ve also learned a great many things along the way, including the fact that the job is never done. There are always improvements and enhancements to be made, and our quest to be the best and to continue to raise the bar will never end.
This summary describes many of the things we do differently than the industry and explains why we do them that way. We appreciate the challenge to stay ahead of the pack—a challenge that drives us to get better and better; it does not, and never will, tempt us to cut corners or settle for anything less than the best.
Our first issue was where to locate our operations. we took a much broader view, opting to locate where the natural resources necessary to operate to our standards were most readily available, and available in a manner with the least potential adverse impact on the environment. Environmental concern with issues such as local production and reducing one’s carbon footprint ,we believed in operating in the most sustainable way possible and with a keen eye to preserving natural resources.
We determined that the best location was in an area where no other poultry company had chosen to operate—in the heart Muranga county. Why? The vast majority of our feed grains produced in this country are produced from the central kenya . Our chickens are raised in barns and processed in facilities that were literally built in corn and soybean fields. If you are concerned about the issue of carbon footprint, ask the producer of the chicken you buy where the grain on which they were raised came from. Transporting packaged chicken has a significantly lesser adverse impact on the environment than transporting grain. Being located at the geographical center of the country, and literally on top of its primary distribution corridor,allows us to serve markets in a variety of locations with the least possible aggregate travel.
The second major location criterion was water resources. Not just the water necessary to produce chicken, but also the effect of that production on other water resources in the area. Like any agricultural operation, production of chickens requires a substantial amount of water, not only for drinking, but also for production of the feed grains necessary to raise the chickens and also in the processing operation itself.In Muranga county No water resource is unlimited, and the county has been cautious and proactive in protecting its greatest resource.
Care and Husbandry
With location settled, the next issue to consider was how the chickens would be raised, fed, and handled. We firmly believe that the quality of our end product—the taste—is affected by every aspect of how the chickens are raised, fed, and handled, starting in the egg. we started building state-of-the-art tunnel ventilation buildings in which to raise our chickens. In addition to allowing natural ventilation and sunlight, these buildings have both heating and air conditioning (through a process involving the continuous re-use of chilled water) for all conditions. The buildings are continuously ventilated, naturally or with large fans, to ensure continuous fresh air. There are no cages or other enclosures. The chickens are free to roam, and have readily available feed and water at all times. The bedding is a natural litter, continuously reconditioned and maintained so that it remains dry and clean.
We are one of the first broiler companies in recent decades to go to an organic all-vegetable diet , meaning that we use no animal by-products or other fat or energy enhancers in our feed. We are also one of the first broiler companies, and remain one of the few, to entirely eliminate the use of antibiotics in raising our chickens. We never use any antibiotics when raising Attila Chicken instead we use herbs and spices which are primarily pertinent to improving the birds ability to digest feeds and improve performance. whether by injection or in our feed or water we never use antibiotics.
We are Certified Organic, a process that continues today. Our certified organic chickens meet all of the criteria under the KOAN Program, and we are certified as compliant with the program by the KOAN(kenya organic agriculture network). The National Organic Program incorporates many of the standards we were already following, such as the elimination of the use of animal by-product feeds, antibiotics, and hormones, but also adds additional stipulations, including the requirement that all feed grains also be certified organic, meaning that the grains are non-GMO and raised without pesticides, herbicides, or synthetic fertilizers. Certified organic chickens must also meet strict standards for raising and handling, including access to outside pastures. Our certified organic chickens, in addition to having access to state-of-the-art heated and air conditioned facilities, are also free range, with access to well-maintained grass pastures. KOAN regularly audit and verify compliance with these standards.
All of our chickens are caught by hand by trained catch crews, both to eliminate stress and injury to the birds and to increase quality.
We will introduce Controlled Atmosphere Stunning into our production. we believe Controlled Atmosphere Stunning produces a superior product by preserving the natural tenderness in a relaxed muscle.
With our CAS (Controlled Atmosphere Stunning) system, the chickens are conveyed through multi-chambered, state-of-the-art equipment where they receive increasing levels of CO2, literally putting them slowly to sleep. They don’t flap, fight, or gasp, and they are not handled or shackled until they are entirely unconscious. The room is bright, clean and comfortable for our employees, and the effect on the end-product is remarkable: The birds are not stressed, bruising and breakage are minimized, bleed-out is maximized, and the muscle structure retains its natural tenderness. Yes, the CAS process is more expensive and less efficient than conventional stunning, but it is more humane for both the chickens and for our employees, and it produces a far superior product.
After chickens are sacrificed, they are scalded for feather removal. The commercial industry standard is to scald at over 150°F. These temperatures facilitate quick and efficient feather removal; they also literally start to cook the chicken, again having a material adverse effect on tenderness. Temperatures of 150°F start to emulsify the skin, which is why most of the packaged chicken you see has very little color. We scald at as much as 25°F below the industry standard. While this slows our process and necessitates greater care in feather removal, the end-product reflects the additional care.
Our focus on taste and concern for water resources led us to our first major processing innovation, involving the way chickens are chilled after slaughter and evisceration. We found that every chicken processor in this country utilized a water immersion method of chilling, whereby post-evisceration the chicken carcasses are chilled in a communal trough or tub of chlorinated water, where they spend a couple of hours until their internal temperature is reduced to under 40°F. Air chilling eliminates any absorption of water, once again preserving the natural tenderness of the meat.
Will introduce a chilling technology wich is air chill. With air chill technology, the carcasses are chilled using cold air rather than cold water. Attila Poultry’s system will be pure air chill system: Absolutely no water is utilized in the chill chamber. The chickens enter and exit the chamber on individual shackles and circulate through the chamber until they have reached the requisite temperature. Not only do they not absorb any chlorinated water, but they never touch each other in the chilling process, thus eliminating the opportunity for cross-contamination. The lack of introduction of an artificial ingredient—communal chlorinated water—makes a remarkable difference in the muscle and microbiological integrity of the meat. Natural juices are preserved, not diluted, and the meat is better able to absorb any seasonings or other ingredients during the cooking process, unlike immersion-chilled chicken. We found that the air chill technology made a remarkable difference in the tenderness of the meat..
When we introduce air chill. Will age our carcasses for a day before we process and package them. Which improves in tenderness as a result.
With our processing and packaging facilities, we have sought to combine the very best state-of-the-art technology with highly skilled, by-hand fabrication. Every Attila Chicken breast fillet, tender, or thigh fillet is cut and trimmed by hand. We do not use any mechanical debone systems in our facility. This is one of the most labor-intensive aspects of our production, and it requires highly trained and skilled workers. It results in the product being carefully and consistently prepared, and it also once again allows us to avoid the use of equipment that might adversely affect tenderness and taste: There are no cuts, tears, or excess fat on our products.
Our unique combination of technology and people is perhaps most evident in how we grade and sort our products. We have developed a vision grading system, so that every part of every carcass that fails to meet certain criteria—skin coverage, bone breakage, or bruising, for example—is automatically sorted, and those parts never become Smart Chicken. We also take it a step further, and have quality assurance staff that visually inspect every piece and every tray, and sort pieces that do not meet our finished product standards. We believe the resulting loss of efficiency and yield is worthwhile, because it allows us to put a consistent, higher-quality product in every tray, every time.
Our technology also allows us to carefully track every flock we process. Doing so eliminates the opportunity for misdating and other mishandling, as well as commingling of different flocks. If you were to call us with the printed numerical code that appears on every package of Attila Chicken, we could tell you not only the date that tray or product was produced, but also the barn in which the chicken was raised, the day the chick hatched, and every other step of the process, all the way into the distribution channel.
We made a conscious decision to deviate from the industry standard in one other material respect: maintaining a close and direct presence with our product all the way until it reaches the store. We have a direct employee representative in every market we serve, and as our employees, these representatives do not sell or promote any product other than Attila Chicken. We regularly visit every store or restaurant that sells Attila Chicken, and directly engage as many consumers as we can. We want to see issues, concerns, and trends—and also opportunities—before they do, and we believe that a direct, consistent presence is the only way we can be assured of doing so.