Daybreak Farms bolsters its executive team to steer growth, foster better corporate governance

New pecking order at Daybreak Farms. File

New pecking order at Daybreak Farms. File

Published Mar 18, 2024


Daybreak Farms, one of the largest integrated poultry producers in South Africa, wholly owned by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), on Sunday announced a new C-Suite team as it cleans up its reputation in the wake of a corruption scandal.

In 2022, the PIC overhauled the company’s board in light of reports of multimillion-rand irregularities at the chicken producer. It also appointed new auditors and established a whistle-blowing hotline service provider as part of operationalising an ethics and investigations committee.

In a statement issued by Daybreak Farms, it said its corporate image had been marred by negative media in the past few years, but recently it had started to convey the fixtures and work done to reposition itself, strongly signalling to the market its governance renewal journey and the operational overhaul.

“Daybreak Farms underwent a restructuring process in 2023 led by (chief executive) Richard Manzini. It has announced the new C-suite team to support the continued growth plans of the company’s operations,” it said in the statement.

Under the leadership of Manzini, the goal was to embed Daybreak Farms in the sector and among its peers as a reliable partner, one that delivered quality chicken and food products to its customers across the country, it said.

Tshepo Yvonne Mosadi, Pierre Rossouw and Ntsikelelo Shorne Figlan had taken on their new positions in the company, focusing on strengthening the C-Suite. They were also focused on reshaping Daybreak Farms’ reputation through the delivery of quality products, ethical operations and positioning the company as an employer of choice. The company's newly-appointed chief financial officer would start on April 1 this year.

Daybreak Farms said Mosadi, who has more than 22 years of transformative experience in strategic HR, leadership culture, business strategy and talent management, had been appointed as chief people officer.

Figlan would assume full accountability for crafting and implementing the company's sales and marketing strategy.

“His pivotal role at Rainbow Chicken showcased his exceptional leadership abilities. He spearheaded turnaround efforts and drove expansion initiatives across Africa, where his contributions have been instrumental in shaping the success of the organisations he has served, and will serve Daybreak Farms well,” the firm said.

Daybreak Farms said that at a time when the poultry sector is besieged by a myriad challenges, including the devastating impacts of avian Influenza, limited power supply and escalating feed costs, Manzini had managed to implement a successful turnaround at Daybreak Farms.

In the prevailing operating environment, the company required the expertise of a well-rounded, strategic leader – with a deep understanding of the South African poultry landscape – to manage a turnaround and return to profitability, with no shareholder support or financing from commercial lenders.

Manzini said: “Despite the challenges the poultry industry faced in 2023, Daybreak Farms is now tracking, in accordance to industry margins, towards profitability. The fundamental reason is that we made sure to strengthen corporate governance. We took a hard stance and from July 2023, our focus was on getting financial controls in place.

“We succeeded, and during the avian flu pandemic, we managed our cash much more stringently, without access to revolving facility and/or support from the shareholder. This lends credence to the fundamental stacking of the business, the cost efficiencies realised and the treasury management.”

Manzini said Daybreak Farms now needed to weather the cash mismatch created by bird flu.

“The next couple of months will prove to be critical, the recovery is indicative of how we have brought our margins back in line with the norm. We are now clear of the support levels needed to move forward,” he said.