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Feb 10, 2016
Mangalore exporter finds unique market for chicken feet in East Asia
Published Date: 24 Jan, 2011 (6:09 PM)

By Violet Pereira, Team Mangalorean - Mangalore

Mangalore December 30, 2010: The New Mangalore Port, situated conveniently on the western coast of India, has made this city a prominent hub for export of goods and produce from Karnataka, especially for iron ore industry, oil, floriculture, or fertilizers. But one may be surprised to hear that this city also exports an average of over 12 tonnes of chicken feet every month to east Asian countries like China and Vietnam! Chicken feet which are considered a waste in Mangalorean households, have found a great demand in these fast East Asian countries.

Souza Chicken, one of the few prominent hatcheries in Mangalore, which also has its branches in Puttur, Hassan and Bantwal, is exporting almost 12 tonnes of chicken feet to China and the Far East every month, says its Managing Partner Lester DSouza.

Ever since its inception in 1988, the 'Souza Chicken' brand has become synonymous with nutrition, quality and high standards in hygiene. Ahead of the sustained investments that they have made in support of the brand, it has also made major investments in breeding technologies, hatching techniques, broiler management and processing, thereby enabling them to have complete control at every stage of broiler production. "We  pride ourselves in the fact that ‘From the egg, to the chick, to the chicken’ nobody takes care like we do,” says D’Souza. Souza Chicken is still expanding and its business is built on customer service and quality. They are the largest suppliers of day-old chicks and broiler chicken in Mangalore, Udupi and Hassan.

He says the major target of its parent breeding operations is to make available to its customers and integrated broiler farmers with the greatest possible start to a healthy poultry flock. This process includes close monitoring of the parent flocks, screening of hatching eggs, maintaining optimum hatching conditions and working closely with the customers to give them nothing but the best-dressed chicken in town, he says. “Our pledge to superiority extends throughout the processing facility where quality control systems are quite simply outstanding. In the year 2002 we started our own broiler integration programme in 120 broiler farmers and our integrated contract farmers share our passion for excellence, that translates into progressive and value-based organizational dynamics,” he says.

Chicken feet, he says, are ideal for making stock because they are loaded with cartilage. When simmered, this cartilage dissolves and forms gelatin, which adds tremendous body to the stock. D'Souza proudly says that Souza Chicken has added one more feather in its cap by exporting frozen chicken feet to Hong Kong and Vietnam over the past one year. All this began when potential customers from Hong Kong approached them through their website and expressed their interest in importing chicken feet. The dialogue continued between both parties and the buyers who came down to Mangalore showed the processing of rearing, selection, cleaning, packing and supplying the feet. “During the initial stage it took about 3 to 4 months to make one container ready,” he says. Each container contains 20 to 22 tons of chicken feet.

D’Souza says that they are exporting the containers of chicken feet in two types of packaging i.e Sacks and Cartons. Training to pack is a major task in this process.  Every one or 2 months one container goes to China.  The quantity depends on the breed of the chicken and size of its feet, he says. Broiler chicken feet are smaller in size and weigh less than tyson chicken feet which are heavier in weight. Sometimes the weight of one container can be as much as 23 tonnes, he adds.

Before exporting, chicken feet are neatly cut and cleaned without using any inorganic chemicals and are shipped out in freezer units while exporting to Hong Kong and Vietnam. In China Chicken feet are used as a delicacy, where they are often an option at dimsum restaurants, served as 'phoenix talons'.

Chicken feet are an integral part in Trinidadian, South African, Peruvian Philippines and Jamaican cuisine. Chicken feet are used as popular salad and appetizer too and mostly sold as street food by deep frying and seasoning with vinegar, fresh green pepper, mustard and crushed garlic.  But consumption of chicken feet in Mangalore is very less. Most of the people here dispose of it as waste, says D’Souza.

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Kiran, India Mar 2, 2015
dear Sir,
i would like to do contract Poultry farming since i have land near Arasikere Hassan. Dist.
d.sujith shetty, India Aug 4, 2013
dear Sir,
i would like to do contract chicken farming since i have got land in kurkal(near udupi)
AKABARALI H MALAGI, India Sep 17, 2011
Dear Dsouza,

geat to here your achivement in this field and i congratulate you for your effort.

and morever i am willing to do the chicken export business will you advise me in this regard.

Original R.Pai, India Jun 17, 2011
Yummy!!! Smiles....
peter muscianese, USA Jun 16, 2011
Dear Sir,

My client requires an initial test shipment of 2 containers of Grade A processed Chicken PAWS followed by a 1 year contract of 20 to 40+ containers per month.

Kindly provide CIF Hong Kong price,
terms and conditions of sale.

My buyer also requires
1- Country of Origin
2- processing plant SGS certification
3- processing plany code
4- recent Bill of Lading (it can be sanitized

I anxiously await your response because my client is anxious to sign a contract.
fr denzil, India Jan 23, 2011
Congrats Lester. i wish you all the success.
Nikhil Rodrigues, India Jan 21, 2011
To my best friend Lester and Luvlyn

Very happy to read this Article. All the very best

Warm Regards

Stephen Mathias, India Jan 4, 2011
Congratulations Lester. Souza Chicken is the number one chicken in Mangalore and around. Hope Souza Chicken will bring glory to Mangalore. May God Bless you and your venture.
Calvin,Bejai, India Jan 3, 2011
Congratulations Lester and all the very Best...
cliferd Rodricks, UAE Jan 1, 2011

Congrats, we salute Mr. Gilbert D'souzas commitment towards his busness.
A.S.Mathew, USA Jan 1, 2011
One part of Chicken which has far less demand in the U.S., the same item is in great demand in Russsia..

Some food items which we consider as waste is in great demand in other countries.

"Somebody's waste is other's wealth". India has great potential to export many food items to other countries; provided the quality and service can be properly maintained.

Mr. D'Souza, I pray that you may export tons of other products to many parts of the world.
Austin Prabhu, USA Dec 31, 2010
Congratulations and wish you all the best in the year 2011. Happy & Prosperous new year filled with love, joy, peace, happiness and good health.
agastya, India Dec 31, 2010
good work souzas......wishin u all the best....
Max & Jessie Rasquinha, USA Dec 31, 2010
Whether it is chicken feet or frog legs; whether it is sandal wood or teak wood; whether it is jewellery items or novelty items, India has enormous potential for exports. Quality control and logistic control is of paramount importance so that our foreign clients build a sense of confidence in consistency on Indian products as well as the competitive advantages in doing business with India.

Export brings new awarness of international standards and specifications which are rigid. Export creates international connections for expansion in different products research and development. Exporters should make the Government authorities fully informed on tariff protections and constantly changing overseas regulations thru the local Chambers of Commerce groups so that the exporters will prove successful in selling products abroad.

The improved airport and seaport facilities should boost exports from Mangalore and we wish every success to all business entrepreneurs in their future pursuit of exporting products manufactured in Mangalore and Karnataka.
Mohd Asif, UAE Dec 31, 2010
Good article. Souza Chicken is good compared to some others available in the market.
dasmond, India Dec 31, 2010
Lester. Congrats and all the very best for the New Year.
SM, India Dec 31, 2010
Good to know. Hope there will be more requirement and can add up from our farms too in near future!!
Prathiba , UAE Dec 31, 2010
Congratulations Lester D'Souza. You made all of us proud. Souza Chicken, well known name for chicken. I wish Souza Chicken not only export chicken feet but to spread its wings around the world.

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