Firm invests US$2m in production plants

MANUFACTURING company, Associated Foods of Zimbabwe (AFZ), says it is increasing its market share in the country after it invested more than US$2 million in production plants in the last few years.

AFZ, the leading manufacturer and distributor of spreads, preserves and snacks, canned fruits and tomatoes, said the growth trajectory over the last three years catapulted the company to scoop the coveted Most Improved Manufacturer for Year 2021 award at the Buy Zimbabwe 2021 awards held last week.

The award signals growth for the company which was 2nd Runner Up for Manufacturer of the Year the previous year.

“We would like to thank Buy Zimbabwe for recognising us as the Most Improved Manufacturer for the Year 2021,” AFZ sales and marketing executive, Mercy Kunaka, pictured, said.

The last three years saw AFZ adopting a growth trajectory in which new product lines which include baked beans, cornflakes, snacks and diabetic jams, were introduced while the company invested US$2 million into a production plant for baked beans, while more was spent towards a peanut butter production.

AFZ is now focusing on attaining the FSSC22000 certification which is a GFSI global recognised food safety standard after it implemented ISO22000 certification which was aimed at enhancing conformity to international standards with an eye on the export market.

“The certification not only provides assurance of product quality but also gives Mama’s and Farmgold brands a better competitive edge in both local and export markets,” Kunaka said.

This year AFZ plans to add groundnut out-grower schemes to existing tomato schemes the company is currently running.

“Our input materials are agro-based and we are currently running out-grower schemes for our much-needed raw material. We are further looking to implement new initiatives and products that will cater for both the local and international market,” Kunaka added.

Buy Zimbabwe honoured 50 companies last year for their resilience and for promoting local production at a time when the government is increasing its support systems to manufacturers in a bid to ramp up production and employment creation.

AFZ was born out of a merger between Honeywood Enterprises (Private) Limited, Zimbabwe’s leading producer of jams, mainly under the “Farm Gold” brand, and Spread Valley (Private) Limited, Zimbabwe’s leading producer of peanut butter, mainly under the “Mama’s” brand in 2016.