New owners at Inglewood Farms

Australia’s largest organic poultry producer, Inglewood Farms, has begun 2014 under new owners the Youngberry family.

Katrina and Adrian Hobbs

The Youngberrys own certified organic grain company Country Heritage Feeds. Country Heritage Feeds and Inglewood Farms are certified with Australian Certified Organic. Inglewood Farms was purchased in late 2013 from receivers for the failed R.M. Williams Agricultural Holdings company.

The Youngberrys say a new simplified management of Inglewood will see the business begin to thrive, where it was previously stifled by corporatisation.

It’s no ordinary family that takes on the challenge of turning a failed business around. CEO and family member Katrina Hobbs says, “The organic chicken farm has huge potential and our number one focus is getting back to basics to ensure the success of the business.” The multigenerational Youngberry family has proven their business acumen in horticulture, operating Eden Farms with its 11 hectares of greenhouses. The hydroponic greenhouse operation is Australia’s largest producer of cucumbers.

“We’ve built strong links with the community in our other operations in Bundaberg, Hampton, Highfields and Pittsworth and now we are looking forward to being a part of the Inglewood community,” says Katrina.

“We are family orientated and we care. Approximately 800 people live in Inglewood and we have a little over 100 of them on our payroll at Inglewood Farms. We know what a big deal this is to the town and it means a lot to us that we have been able to retain this local workforce.”

“The strength we see taking Inglewood Farms forwards is our vertical integration, right through from producing some of our own organic grain in Inglewood.” Country Heritage Feeds supplied Inglewood Farms previously, so it doesn’t expect the supply and demand of its grain to change significantly.

“We are positioned well to supply the market, which is increasingly interested in how their product was produced and the astute consumer wants to ensure their food is free from nasties like chemical residues, GMOs, preservatives and medications. Our product ticks all the boxes. We’re certified organic, which includes free range, and we even air-chill our chickens, unlike the majority of Australian chicken, which is processed using spin-chilling techniques that result in the final product absorbing highly chlorinated water.”

Inglewood Farms has 300,000 broilers, processing up to 27,000 birds per week. The new owners are reviewing the product’s branding and packaging.

Inglewood Farms chicken is distributed through Woolworths under the Macro organic branding, and as Inglewood Farms chicken at Coles supermarkets and in other organic retail stores and supermarkets across Australia.