By Oliver Kazunga
Bread manufacturer Baker’s Inn is set to install a $5 million third production line at its Belmont plant in Bulawayo, a development that will see the company producing 220 000 loaves a day up from 120 000.
The bakery, a division of Simbisa Brands which is a subsidiary of Innscor Africa, last February announced an intent to increase its market share to at least 55 percent within 12 months.
Baker’s Inn general manager Mr Felix Vazhure told Business Chronicle:”Currently, with the two production lines here, we are producing 120 000 loaves a day. The plant that is coming here from Harare is five-years-old and it produces 100 000 loaves a day. On the 19th or 20th of April that plant will be moved this side.
“If we are to knock it down now, it means we will not be able to meet demand during the Easter and Independence holidays as demand for bread will be high”.
Mr Vazhure said with the subdued production capacity at the firm, Baker’s Inn was not able to meet demand in the southern parts of the country.
As a result, the Bulawayo factory was presently receiving 40 000 additional loaves a day from Harare and thus 160 000 loaves were being supplied into the southern region market.
The Baker’s Inn boss said the coming in of a third production line would see their Bulawayo factory being able to efficiently supply their local market.
Baker’s Inn Belmont factory supplies Bulawayo, the Midlands, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, and Masvingo provinces as well as Eastern lowveld in Chiredzi.
Turning to employment figures, Mr Vazhure said the coming on board of the third production line would create an additional 200 jobs indirectly.
“On the production side we employ 135 people. Now with the coming in of a new plant, we are looking at employing an additional minimum of 60 people on the production side.
“Actually, there are more people selling than those employed in the production section because there (production) you can automate but on selling you cannot,” he said.
Presently, Bakers Inn employs 532 people in the southern region and if the new plant is set up an additional 200 people in the region will be employed. Bakers Inn Bulawayo factory is operating at full throttle, said Mr Vazhure. The Chronicle