By Phillimon Mhlanga
President Emmerson Mnangagwa this week revealed that Swiss-based food and beverages giant, Nestle, is planning to expand its business in Zimbabwe.
He disclosed that the commitment was made by Wan Ling Martello, Nestlé’s chief executive for Asia, Oceania and sub-Saharan Africa, when the two met in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos, Switzerland during the World Economic Forum held in January this year.
“I met the Nestlé boss (Martello) at Davos,” Mnangagwa said after officially commissioning Nestlé Zimbabwe’s new filling line on the cremora plant at its Harare factory adding: “We had a long chat and she told me that Nestlé (the parent company) is going to expand Nestlé Zimbabwe in the next few years. My government will continue to ensure balanced policies, legislation and policy interventions to enable a conducive and enabling business environment which allows for investments and stimulate growth.”
The food giant invested about $500 000 into the new cremora line.
Mnangagwa’s remarks reaffirmed Ben Ndiaye, the Nestle South cluster managing director for Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi’s sentiments indicating that the parent company was committed and has confidence in the future of Zimbabwe’s operations.
“We want to assure you that our commitment to Zimbabwe is very strong and we have the capability, capacity and passion to play a leading role as an industrialist,” Ndiaye said.
Nestlé has been in Zimbabwe for the past 59 years. It operates a factory in Harare producing milk power.
In 2011, Nestlé launched a 10-year dairy empowerment scheme, distributing more than 600 dairy cows and heifers to farmers contracted to supply milk to the Nestlé factory.
So far, the company has invested about $5,4 million into the project.
Nestlé has also invested about $30 million in the past few years allowing the manufacturing firm to upgrade its old lines and install new plants for its cereals: Cerevita and Cerelac and dairy product, contributing towards industrialisation and employment creation in Zimbabwe.
The company produces and sells cereals on both the domestic and export markets with established business in Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
— The Financial Gazette