Par­adise Foods marks 80th year with ex­pan­sion plans

Made in PNG - - FEATURE -

Pa­pua New Guinea’s old­est man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany, Par­adise Foods, is mark­ing its 80th year of op­er­a­tions this year, after its hum­ble be­gin­nings as a small-town bak­ery in 1933. Be­hind the quiet cel­e­bra­tions are big ex­pan­sion plans, ac­cord­ing to Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor David Peate.

Par­adise Foods Lim­ited has come a long way since it started as Morobe Bak­ery in the gold fields of Bu­lolo in 1933.

Fol­low­ing a merger of Morobe Bak­ery and the Par­adise Bak­ery Group in 1992, Arnotts Bis­cuits/Camp­bell Soup Com­pany bought 80% of the com­pany and changed its name to Arnotts Bis­cuits (PNG) Lim­ited.

In July 2007, Arnotts sold its stake in the com­pany to then lo­cal mi­nor­ity share­hold­ers, Nam­bawan Su­per Lim­ited and Com­rade Trus­tees Ser­vices Lim­ited, which changed its name to Par­adise Foods Lim­ited, and ap­pointed the in­cum­bent Arnotts CEO, David Peate, as Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor.

Arnotts’ stew­ard­ship saw the com­mis­sion­ing of a new man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity in Port Moresby and a move into snack foods with the pur­chase of the pop­u­lar Gold Nuggets brand.

It is now one of PNG’s lead­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers, pro­duc­ing brands such as Nam­bawan, Wopa, High­way and Em Nau.

‘As a 100% Pa­pua New Guinea-owned com­pany, it has been our aim to grow the business and we are now also the Pep­siCo bot­tler and dis­trib­u­tor for Pa­pua New Guinea,’ says Peate. ‘We are cur­rently in­vest­ing in a multi-mil­lion kina bot­tling plant in Lae, which will be op­er­a­tional early next year. This fur­ther en­hances PNG’s man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pa­bil­ity and in­creases em­ploy­ment.’

Part of the com­pany’s strat­egy is to help de­velop PNG’s agri­cul­tural and down­stream pro­cess­ing sec­tor. The com­pany has in­vested in a pi­lot plant to pro­duce choco­late us­ing PNG pre­mium co­coa beans un­der the name The Queen Emma Choco­late Com­pany.

State-of-the-art tech­nol­ogy is used, al­low­ing Par­adise Foods to ‘use the whole bean with­out any ad­di­tional co­coa but­ter, re­sult­ing in a very pure, rich taste’.

The choco­late is cur­rently only on sale in the duty free shops at Jack­sons Air­port and sells out quickly when in stock.

Peate is ex­pect­ing board ap­proval to com­mis­sion a com­mer­cialscale choco­late pro­cess­ing plant, with the range ex­pected to be on sale, mainly as a pre­mium ex­port prod­uct, in early 2015.

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