Published in The Gleaner

HAITI BROILERS SA, the Haitian operation of poultry producer Jamaica Broilers Group, JBG, has steadily grown the business over the past five years.

For the financial year ending April 2019, the gains continued with growth in revenue by $150 million to just shy of $2.4 billion.

But Haiti is now engulfed in chaos from demonstrations dating back to February, and a new wave in September. The conditions there are disrupting the gains made by the poultry company.

For the first quarter ending July 2019, Haiti Broilers experienced a 68 per cent, or $41 million dip in operating results to $19 million, occasioned by a more than 10 per cent decline in revenue that Jamaica Broilers largely attributed to the current political and economic instability being experienced in Haiti.

The demonstrations against the president have been deadly and disruptive to people’s lives and economic activity. There is anger in Haiti over the falling value of the local currency, concerns about corruption and shortages of food and fuel, and there are demands for President Jovenel Moïse to resign.

“If we look at what has happened over the last five years, we saw increase moving out of small losses in 2015 and transitioning to a fairly significant profit. That, unfortunately, has been interrupted because of the riots happening in Haiti,” JBG Senior Vice-President of Finance Ian Parsard told shareholders during the company’s annual general meeting held at its home base at McCooks Pen, St Catherine, on Wednesday.

“The operations have been affected by a number of riots and roadblocks, to the extent where we are having difficulties moving feed for our mills up to the farm where we have layers in production. Our staff is under threat just to turn up to work, and navigating the roadblocks in Haiti is a completely different story from what transpires in Jamaica,” he said.

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