By Tarisai Machakaire
Simbisa Brands’ bakery unit, Bakers Inn, says it has invested about $2 million in a new factory in the country’s second largest city — Bulawayo — as it moves to drive its 450 000 loaves per day output.
Bakers Inn chief executive, Ngoni Mazango, said the move had been prompted by bread shortages which the country experiences especially during public holidays.
“We are going to open a new factory in Bulawayo and as a company we have been investing to spruce up our bakeries and this is going to cost us about
“It is common knowledge that during holiday periods in Zimbabwe there is really a shortage of bread and bakeries are not meeting the demand. We would want to ensure that we capacitate our plant to give people what they want,” Mazango said as the group unveiled refurbishment work it carried out at Huyo Adventist Primary School in Karoi.
This comes as the company also announced plans to install a $5 million third production line at its Belmont plant in Bulawayo, a development anticipated to increase its production.
Bakers Inn — which recently ramped capacity utilisation to 65 percent — is now selling almost three million loaves per week, a figure expected to go up once the new Bulawayo factory comes online.
Mazango, recently told the businessdaily that the bakery’s output had jumped from about 250 000 loaves per day in June 2016 to over 450 000 loaves per day at the end of March.
“It is quite interesting that between July and November, this business grew from the 250 000 loaves to 400 000 loaves per day and to date as I speak we are selling up to 425 000 loaves and we are commanding a 44 percent market share and we are proud of what we have achieved as a business,” Mazango said.
This comes as the bakery’s loaf volumes grew in the year to December 2016, with pie volumes surging 169 percent while revenues were up four percent.
The Bakers Inn boss said government needed to increase support efforts to wheat farmers.
“As the Bakers Association president we are also appealing to government for bakers to be given land so that they can capacitate production…
“As you know Zimbabwe requires about 400 000 metric tonnes of wheat against the 30 000 that we are getting that has been a challenge because we have had to import most of the wheat.
“It became a huge challenge considering the nostro challenges… We have embraced Command Agriculture and the latest development of command wheat which has been implemented… I think if we can grow 75 percent and import 25 percent Zimbabwe would retain its status as the bread basket of Africa and with such initiatives as Command Agriculture, I feel we are getting there,” Mazango said.
Meanwhile, Mazango said Bakers Inn managed to feed 300 families in Jabezi for a whole year last year and spent
$30 000 helping children that wanted to go for major operations in India.
The refurbishment of Huyo Adventist Primary School in Karoi resulted in 11 classroom blocks being renovated at $22 000 fully funded by Baker’s Inn. The labour and materials were provided by the Karoi community and Bakers Inn takes its pride in this positive impact on that community. Daily News