ZAMBEEF LEADING LOCAL BUSINESS IN FILLING COVID FOOD CHAIN GAP
Agriculture, Zambeef Products Plc
CHISAMBA, ZAMBIA – Growing consumer confidence in local products has been welcomed by Zambeef Products as the retailing and agribusiness giant hosted Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Hon. Christopher Yaluma at its Chisamba operations.
Zambeef Chief Operating Officer Mike Lovett said the company was encouraged by the increased acceptance of local businesses as key drivers of the country’s diversification and industrialisation process by government and stakeholders.
He was speaking as the minister visited Zambeef’s Kalundu Dairy Farm and Huntley Farm as part of a wider campaign by key government departments to engage with the private sector in seeing through realisation of the country’s economic development.
Mr Lovett noted that closing of borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic have been disruptive for both the local and international food supply chains, but this also provided an opportunity for home-grown companies such as Zambeef to fill in the gaps left by foreign food imports, raising local participation and shelf space taken up by local produce in the food market.
“We have all been talking about the ‘Buy local” campaign for the last few years and ironically, it has taken a global pandemic to bring this home; that it is not only possible, but also preferable. Consumers are realising that home-grown produce – meat, dairy and stockfeed– is just as good as and in fact better than some of the imported versions.
“With Zambeef’s diverse and wide range of food products, we have managed to cushion Zambians from feeling the full impact of these disruptions in the local and international supply chains. We have continued to do what we do best: feeding the nation,” said Mr Lovett.
Mr Yaluma commended Zambeef for its diverse product range and reiterated the importance of like businesses in creating employment and wealth for the country, stating: “What they have done as a response to our policies I think is phenomenon, I relate this to the industrial policy and trade policy. We need to protect our local industries. Whatever it will take us to do that we must do it.
Mr Lovett emphasised that sustaining this momentum was vital in ensuring that companies rise to the occasion in achieving an industrialised Zambia with consumers gaining easier access to affordable, quality food products resulting in a more robust and growing market for local farmers; and ultimately infusing back a renewed vigour and resilience into the economy.
However, Mr Lovett expressed concern at unfair cross-border trading at key border towns such as Kasumbalesa and Nakonde, which benefits exported products at the expense of local producers.
He appealed to the state to further protect the country’s manufacturing base by curbing the use of bonded warehouses, and in doing so allow for the effective targeting of export markets and promote fair pricing of goods for the benefit of consumers and the country’s farming community.
“As a proudly Zambian company, we are proud of our investments and contribution to the local economy, but most importantly the role we continue to play in safeguarding Zambia’s food security,” said Mr Lovett.
Zambeef continues to be a key part of the local industry success adding value to local produce as well as creating vital backward and forward market linkages for farmers across the country.
He further pointed out that Zambeef remained optimistic despite the year’s challenges and in keeping with its robust growth strategy, Zambeef has continued to invest in key operational areas; among them a new group housing for weaned calves at Kalundu Dairy.
Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Hon. Christopher Yaluma inspect’s Zambeef’s Kalundu Dairy Farm with Chief Operating Officer Mike Lovett
About Zambeef Products Plc
Zambeef Products Plc is the largest integrated cold chain food products and agribusiness company in Zambia and one of the largest in the region, involved in the primary production, processing, distribution and retailing of beef, chicken, pork, milk, eggs, dairy products, fish, flour and stockfeed, throughout Zambia and the surrounding region, as well as Nigeria and Ghana.
It has 228 retail outlets throughout Zambia and West Africa.
The company is one of the largest suppliers of beef in Zambia. Five beef abattoirs and three feedlots located throughout Zambia, with a capacity to slaughter 230,000 cattle a year. It is also one of the largest chicken and egg producers in Zambia, with a capacity of 8.8m broilers and 22.4 million day-old chicks a year.
It is one of the largest piggeries, pig abattoirs and pork processing plants in Zambia, with a capacity to slaughter 75,000 pigs a year, while its dairy has a capacity of 120,000 litres per day.
The Group is also one of the largest cereal row cropping operations in Zambia, with approximately 7,973 hectares of row crops under irrigation, which are planted twice a year, and a further 8,776 hectares of rainfed/dry-land crops available for planting each year.
Zambeef employs over 7,400 people with a total wage bill of K38 million per month.More information is available at www.zambeefplc.com

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