When Julian Mirvish, Bob Barlow and Bob Brotherton started importing production equipment for the South African poultry industry in 1966, they could not have foreseen that their fledgling business, Peninsula Poultry Appliances, would become one of the most influential suppliers in this sector.
And yet it did. Not only that PPA, as it is commonly known, was the very first South African poultry equipment supplier to design and build panel housing in South Africa, a venture that proved so successful that panel housing soon became the industry standard in this country, but also that it build the reputation for continued customer support and service excellence.
In 1967, PPA acquired the South African distribution rights for the feeding and drinking equipment made by Plasson in Israel. Though Plasson was only in its third year of operation, their products already had a reputation for thoughtful design and high quality. Plasson was started by a group of agriculturalists who realised that as the demands on farming practices and agricultural yields was increasing, there was a growing need for the agricultural sector to modernise and harness technology to improve production methods and efficiencies. Their product range was therefore designed and produced with this in mind, utilising the very latest know-how and material available.
This of course has not changed since then, which means that Plasson’s equipment in continuously being rethought and redesigned to ensure that it keeps pace with the demands of modern commercial poultry and pig farming.
Initially, PPA imported ventilation equipment form the United States. The initial shareholder trio built the very first broiler house with a tunnel ventilation system on one of Julian’s farms, and since this was in the days before wet wall pads were invented, they used a homemade evaporation system for cooling. Boer maak ‘n plan indeed! Over time, the two Bobs traded their PPA shares for the leisurely life of a pensioner in the beautiful Western Cape, leaving Julian as the sole owner of the business. In 1992 however, he was joined by Duncan Unsworth, a man the South African poultry industry has since come to know as one who is always on the lookout for better solutions and innovative products to improve anything and everything that can possibly be improved.
Of course, a man like this was bound to expand the company’s product range and today PPA not only provides a full range of both broiler and layer housing and production equipment, but can also meet the needs of the South African pork producers when it comes to production equipment and housing. A few years after Duncan joined PPA, he acquired sole ownership of the business.
As of 1 March 2015, Peninsula Poultry Appliances became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Plasson Limited in Israel. However, Duncan will remain with PPA in the medium term and connected to the industry and its customers.