Free Range Chicken Farmer Receives Top Award

free rangeWhat started with a few free ranging chickens running around in Jeanne Groenewald’s backyard, rapidly grew over the years and culminated in the business Elgin Free Range Chickens (EFRC).

All Jeanne wanted to do originally was to provide her family with chicken devoid of chemical enhancement.

But armed with a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a BSc Agriculture in animal physiology and genetics, Jeanne was able to grow her small endeavour into one of South African poultry industry’s greatest success stories, whilst making a powerful contribution in the drive towards being truly free range.

She was recently named the Western Capes’ Top Commercial Female Entrepreneur at the 2014 Female Entrepreneur Awards held at Nelson’s Creek by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture on Friday, 15 August.

Groenewald was awarded for the all round excellence in which she runs her business.

“I’m honoured to be receiving this award, although it definitely isn’t an individual accolade. The entire Elgin Free Range Chickens’ team have played an integral role in the success of the company,” says Jeanne.

In 2000 she established the state of the art Elgin poultry abattoir in Grabouw, and today she supplies almost 80000 free range chickens per week to leading South African retailers, select deli’s and some of the Cape’s top restaurants.

The company currently provides jobs to 290 people, many of whom are employed at the abattoir in Grabouw.

“It’s important to us to be active in our community and participate in making a better future for everyone, and not just through the excellence of our product,” says Jeanne. “We are very much part of a bigger family, being the Elgin farming community and actively involved in outreach and development projects.”

The chickens from Elgin Free Range Chickens are drug-free, stress-free, routine antibiotic-free, and animal by-product-free.

“I would like to thank the DAFF for recognizing women in agriculture as well as for offering assistance to female farmers, by supporting growth and expansion,” says Jeanne.

For more information on Elgin Free Range Chickens, visit

Source: Hermanus Times

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