Customer trust is built with consistency

How a Cargill team in Malaysia helped a smallholder poultry farmer resolve a serious threat to his business and achieve success

By Johahn Bhurrut September 19, 2016

Malaysia today is one of the biggest poultry consumers in the world and Malaysians prize poultry as their primary source of protein. The country is largely self-sufficient and the industry is driven by large, vertically integrated broiler operators that contract the supply of chicken to smallholder farmers. Sam Hup is one such smallholder.

inpage-sam-hupCargill’s strategic marketing and technology team conducts an annual strategic product review at Sam Hup, where the chickens are monitored and provided with a suitable formula.Based in Johor, Sam Hup rears about 100,000 chicken per month across its 11 farms, all in the same region. The owner, Mr. Soh, inherited the business in 2001 from his father who started it more than 15 years ago. As a smallholder, Mr. Soh personally runs the company’s operations and oversees the health of the business.

Sam Hup has experienced consistent growth over the years with the rapid rise in demand for poultry in the country. In May 2015, however, disaster struck and for the first time in its history, Mr. Soh felt helpless as his chickens started to die.

“As a small poultry business, a disruption to the health and performance of our birds can be catastrophic to our operations. We knew we had to take action straight away to mitigate the situation and ensure the impact on our bottom-line was minimal,” said Mr. Soh.

Sam Hup was then using livestock feed from Cargill and one competing provider. Mr. Soh decided to approach the local Cargill Feed & Nutrition team in Malaysia to investigate the root cause of the problem and help him with a solution that could stabilize his business.

“Cargill had already proven that they could provide more value than other feed producers out there with a higher quality and more consistent product,” said Mr. Soh on why he decided to approach Cargill.

The Cargill team immediately started conducting tests on the birds. They discovered that up to 80 percent of Sam Hup’s chickens were infected by a bacteria which affected their digestive system. The team went to work and developed a customized medicated feed for Sam Hup’s chickens. They also devised a strict daily regime to administer the feed and monitor the process, and provided weekly technical support.

In a matter of days, Sam Hup saw an improvement in its chickens’ health and within five weeks, there was a significant recovery in terms of performance. Sam Hup was able to stabilize production and meet demand from its customers. Its revenues were on a growth path again.

In June 2015, Mr. Soh decided to switch 100 percent to Cargill feed and has not looked back since. Cargill’s feed distribution volume to Sam Hup has increased by 264 percent from June 2015 to June 2016.

“The success of our relationship with Sam Hup goes to our dedicated Feed & Nutrition team here in Malaysia. We started our relationship with Sam Hup in 2000. By 2015, they trusted our products enough to use 75 percent of Cargill feed,” said Chin Kim Heng, Territory Manager for the Cargill Feed & Nutrition business in Malaysia. “We knew that Mr. Soh had always highly regarded the high quality and consistency of our products. After demonstrating how committed we were to ensuring- his success by resolving his crisis in May 2015, he showed that the trust he places in us is not only in our products, but also in our people. We are proud that he chose to have his feed provided exclusively by Cargill.”