Charity Begins at Home

Irvine’s has always cared about its employees and their families with the workforce increasing from 13 people in 1957 to over 2000 presently. While the majority of the operations on the poultry farms are agricultural with only the Feed Mill and Processing Plant designated agro industrial, all employees enjoy conditions of service stipulated under the agro processing dispensation.

Housing and amenities for staff and workers alike have formed the backbone for the development of the Company in the belief that people living on the site of operations be it the Feed Mill, Workshops, Processing Plant or Layer or Broiler Sections, will be more focussed and diligent if their domestic circumstances are secure. To this end there are 16 dwelling houses for Management, 12 on Derbyshire and six on Lanark Farm. Five roomed worker houses with power, water borne sewage and water reticulation total 352 units clustered in village communities at Derbyshire, Carnock and Lanark with a modern clinics staffed by a State Registered Nurse located adjoining Derbyshire Village and Lanark Village. Both clinics are visited by the Company Doctor Mike Simoyi twice a week for clinic sessions and many an employee recalls how “the Company Doctor” has attended late at night in emergencies.

Derbyshire School adjacent to Derbyshire Village has 548 pupils while Ardno School has 280 pupils – both schools compete in the annual Best School Competition in terms of amenities and facilities and are regularly marked in the top five primary schools in Mashonaland East Province. The Community Hall adjacent to Ardno Village and Clinic is popular as a weekend venue for the Woman’s Club activities and viewing TV. It also hosts the Breeder Farm Pre School feeding and support group and is used as a venue for HIV and AIDS awareness activities supported through the clinics and the AIDS taskforce working groups for the Province.

In order to care for and develop the Company’s human resources, communications at all levels of management is essential. In this regard regular and frank discussions are held with the Workers Committee. The Company’s co-responsibility approach to communications and information on employment issues on the workers side and production and development issues in the business, has built confidence between workers and management to the extent that labour relations, despite challenging economic circumstances, are mutually respectful and forward looking. Transport to and from work has become a major cost and time waster resulting in the Company providing transport for everybody to ensure timely commencement of duties and to mitigate absenteeism due to unreliable transport.

Over the past 50 years Irvine’s has sought to reward loyalty through recognition of long service at its annual awards ceremony. It is a festive occasion when award winners are recognised and cheered by their peers. This epitomises the spirit of team building and friendly competitiveness between sections.

Irvine’s sponsors two men’s football teams and two women’s netball teams which enjoy support from the workforce as a whole at weekend games at home and away. It is hoped that during the next 50 years our teams will progress to the top of their leagues!

Irvine’s Corporate Social Responsibility

Irvine’s have made a difference in the community in and have been working with a number of charity organizations for years with the majority of them within their local community of Waterfalls. These include, Jairos Jiri Waterfalls, Zim Downs Association, Harare Childrens home as well as Waterfalls Trust Old People’s home. These homes care for people with disabilities ranging from old age, mental as well as physical. These homes depend on Irvine’s donations of chicken and eggs for their nutritional well being as they are incapable of fending for themselves.

Irvine’s contributions go beyond product donations but they also equip the community with skills and expertise through chicken farming training programmes conducted free of charge. The main target are the small scale farmers in the rural areas. Irvine’s have a full time technical team responsible for training on chicken farming. The training has been well received by the rural community and this has been backed up with consistent supply of quality chicks at distribution centres conveniently located nationwide. Farmers have shown great appreciation for the knowledge received on chicken management and welcome the certificates awarded to them upon successful completion of their broiler management training. In addition, the rural community now have a cheaper and consistent source of nutrition. To develop the training and empowerment in rural areas, Irvine’s Zimbabwe has set up demonstration chicken houses in the following provinces/ districts of Zimbabwe:

  • Matebeland North (Tsholotsho at John Landa Nkomo Secondary School)
  • Mashonaland Central (Dotito Primary School)
  • Masvingo (Mapuwire Primary School, Chivi)
  • Mashonaland East (Mwanza Secondary School, Juru Growth Point)
  • Mashonaland Central (Mutumba Primary School)