Lean times in meat in­dus­try

The Mercury - - FRONT PAGE -

NKULULEKO Luthuli, an emerg­ing meat pro­ces­sor in Em­pan­geni, says the in­dus­try is be­ing “crip­pled” by the fi­nan­cial losses it con­tin­ues to suf­fer.

“There is a po­ten­tial that 153 jobs at our fac­tory will be lost,” he said.

Luthuli is one of the own­ers of Best Cut Meats, the only black­owned man­u­fac­turer in the in­dus­try which sup­plies ma­jor re­tail­ers and whole­salers such as Shoprite, Spar, Mass­cash, Rhino and Boxer.

He said the losses were ex­ac­er­bated by weak de­mand over the Easter hol­i­day break, which was a peak man­u­fac­tur­ing and sales pe­riod of the year.

“Some fac­to­ries have sus­pended op­er­a­tions, oth­ers are only man­u­fac­tur­ing for two or three days a week.

“What is im­por­tant to un­der­stand is that there are a num­ber of small and medium-sized man­u­fac­tur­ers in the in­dus­try. This cat­e­gory or band of man­u­fac­tur­ers is far more fi­nan­cially sen­si­tive to pro­duc­tion dis­rup­tions than the hand­ful of large man­u­fac­tur­ers,” Luthuli said.

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