Sch­weppes launches out­grower scheme

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Oliver Kazunga Se­nior Busi­ness Reporter

ONE of Sch­weppes Zim­babwe’s strate­gic busi­ness units, Best Fruit Pro­ces­sors, has launched an out­grower scheme with in­di­vid­ual farm­ers and com­pa­nies across the coun­try.

Best Fruit Pro­ces­sors Pri­vate Lim­ited is the joint ven­ture en­tity es­tab­lished in Au­gust 2015 by Beit­bridge Juic­ing Com­pany and the Agri­cul­tural and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (ARDA) for pro­cess­ing fruit at a pro­duc­tion plant in Nor­ton.

Beit­bridge Juic­ing Com­pany is the man­ag­ing part­ner in the joint ven­ture with 70 per­cent own­er­ship while ARDA re­tains 30 per­cent stake.

Sch­weppes Zim­babwe mar­ket­ing and pub­lic af­fairs di­rec­tor Mrs Unaiswi Nyikadzino told Chron­i­cle Busi­ness on the side­lines of the Con­fed­er­a­tion of Zim­babwe In­dus­tries an­nual congress in Bu­l­awayo that the out­grower scheme pro­vides farm­ers with a ready mar­ket.

“Our thrust is to process dif­fer­ent types of fruits.

“Our main fo­cus is tomato, which we process into paste and at the same time we also do peach puree, mango puree, pas­sion fruit purees . . . and there are var­i­ous kinds of fruits that we can also process.

“We are de­vel­op­ing out­grower schemes with farm­ers at ir­ri­ga­tion schemes, small­holder farm­ers and com­mer­cial farm­ers who will sup­ply our plant with feed­stock,” she said.

Mrs Nyikadzino said the key chal­lenge they are presently fac­ing on the project was en­sur­ing the farm­ers se­cure the in­puts.

“We’ve part­nered with some or­gan­i­sa­tions to try and fa­cil­i­tate in­put sup­plies to farm­ers as part of mea­sures to re­duce costs,” she said.

The Nor­ton-based fruit pro­cess­ing plant has an­nual pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity of 30,000 tonnes of raw fruit, which is pro­cessed into purees and pastes.

The busi­ness key fo­cus is to ful­fil do­mes­tic de­mand for tomato paste and fruit purees be­fore ex­ports.

The tar­geted con­tri­bu­tions for 2016 are 70 per­cent ex­ports and 30 per­cent do­mes­tic busi­ness in vol­ume terms.

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