Na­tional Foods set to in­crease stock­feed ex­ports

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

NA­TIONAL Foods Hold­ings’ stock feeds man­u­fac­tur­ing divi­sion is set to in­crease its ex­ports to the Botswana Meat Com­mis­sion (BMC) by 43 per­cent to 1 000 tonnes per month, an of­fi­cial has said.

In an in­ter­view, Na­tional Foods stock feeds divi­sion man­ag­ing ex­ec­u­tive Mr Lewis Ngwenya at­trib­uted the en­vis­aged in­crease in stock feeds ex­ports to BMC’s re-ad­mis­sion to the Euro­pean Union beef mar­ket.

Botswana beef ex­ports to the EU were sus­pended in 2011 after the bloc got con­cerned that the African coun­try did not con­form to its stan­dards.

“We will be in­creas­ing our ex­ports to BMC fol­low­ing its ex­port cer­ti­fi­ca­tion by the EU. At present, we are ex­port­ing 700 tonnes per month of stock feeds to BMC and we are look­ing at in­creas­ing that fig­ure to 1 000 tonnes or be­yond.

“They have in­di­cated to us that their ex­ports will soon be in­creas­ing fol­low­ing the ex­port cer­ti­fi­ca­tion into the EU so they want us to in­crease our stock feeds ex­ports,” Mr Ngwenya said.

He said the de­vel­op­ment would see the stock feeds divi­sion im­prov­ing its op­er­a­tions with work­ers ex­pected to work over­time, which they would be paid for in line with the Na­tional Em­ploy­ment rates.

Na­tional Foods, which is listed on the Zim­babwe Stock Ex­change, has op­er­a­tions that in­clude prepack­ing and sale of dry gro­ceries, man­u­fac­tur­ing of stock feeds and vi­ta­min and, min­eral pre­mixes for stock­feed ap­pli­ca­tions.

The com­pany op­er­ates in two seg­ments namely milling, man­u­fac­tur­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion, and prop­er­ties.

The milling, man­u­fac­tur­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion seg­ment in­cludes the milling of flour and maize, man­u­fac­ture of stock feeds and sale of gen­eral house­hold goods and also their dis­tri­bu­tion and ware­hous­ing.

The stock feeds divi­sion, which has branches in Harare and Bu­l­awayo, em­ploys a to­tal of about 600 peo­ple.

“We are also go­ing to in­crease our num­bers of em­ploy­ment as a re­sult of the BMC ex­port cer­ti­fi­ca­tion to the EU,” Mr Ngwenya said.

As a stand­alone busi­ness, the stock feeds divi­sion last year pro­duced and sold over 160 000 tonnes with an an­nual turnover of $70 mil­lion re­flect­ing an eight per­cent profit be­fore tax.

Na­tional Foods is one of few com­pa­nies listed on the lo­cal bourse that have con­sis­tently per­formed well since the in­tro­duc­tion of a mul­ti­c­ur­rency sys­tem in Fe­bru­ary 2009.

In 2015, the com­pany planned to in­vest about $8,3 mil­lion to­wards up­grad­ing its plants across the busi­ness units with about $4 mil­lion set aside for fix­ing the flour milling plant.

About $1 mil­lion was set aside for re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing the maize busi­ness. — @okazunga

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