Tanganda invests US$6m into beverages factory





HARARE – Tanganda Tea Company has invested US$6 million into its beverages factory in Mutare to enhance production efficiencies.

The investment, part of the US$37 million the group deployed into various capital projects, helped modernise the Mutare factory in line with global standards.

Other investment projects carried out by the group in the past decade include US$2 million avocado pack house, 1 000 hectares irrigation scheme that gobbled US$5 million, another US$2 for macadamia processing facility and US$7,5 million for three solar projects.

Chief executive officer, Tim Fennell said the investments were financed through internally generated funds, loans as well as substantial support from parent company Meikles Limited.

“Renewal of the tea blending and packaging plant in Mutare has been a major focus for the past eight years with approximately US$6 million invested in modernising the factory to meet world class standards as well as save the markets adequately,” he said at an analysts briefing in Harare recently.

The plant has the capacity to pack 3 800 tonnes of both leaf tea and tea bags.

The beverage division was established in 1960 with the construction of a tea blending  and packing plant in Mutare with brands that include special blended tea bags, Tanganda, Stella, Tips, Fresh Leaves, Silver & Joko, Healthy Green, Natra and Nella Rooibos, High Country Coffee, Moringa, Zumbani and Tingamira mineral water, which has water sales of 2,9 million litres

The introduction of Tinga mira mineral water in 2006 marked the expansion of the product portfolio in the beverage division away from tea products.

“The brand was accepted by the market and continues to be appropriately positioned as an upmarket trusted brand.

“There are opportunities to grow the wet segment part of the business,” said Mr                    Fennell.

Tanganda is divided into two main operating divisions namely agriculture with five estates and beverage divisions with a corporate arm responsible for administration of the two divisions.

The group exports to over 25 countries and the foreign exchange inflows constitute approximately 72 percent of total sales revenue.

The company exports 80 percent of its tea products, almost 90 percent of avocados and nearly 100 percent of macadamia nuts.

Mr Fennell said the company would continue to focus on enhancing capacity and widening the product range for the export markets and looking to expand into Canadian and North American.

Part of the key areas of focus would be expansion of the packed tea market by growing the regional markets, macadamia nuts value addition, mechanisation of the timber operation as well as enhanced plucking mechanisation programmes.

Tanganda is also considering commercialising its livestock operations.

These projects, he said, would improve production capacity and efficiency to enable the firm to further expand its export market.

Tanganda is set to make a return on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) following unbundling from Meikles Limited.

Source: Herald