Agro-processor Glytime Foods has made a foray into the export markets, initially securing a contract to supply its products into Zambia.
The company specialises in the manufacturing of honey and healthy cereals.
Glytime chief executive Lesley Marange, said the Zambian deal will see the company supplying 40 tonnes of honey monthly to that market.
“In terms of the export market, we have signed a deal in Zambia. We have an initial order with a Zambian distributor to supply 10 tonnes per week,” he said during a ZimTrade tour of the company’s factory in Harare.
Mr Marange said there is significant demand for the company’s products in the SADC region.
But capacity constraints have limited its expansion into the region.
“The Angolan, DRC, Malawian and Namibian markets have indicated interest. But what is stopping us from taking the product there is the issue of our capacity.
“Current capacity allows us to cater for the local market and a segment of Zambia. From our analysis the Zambian market can actually take up five times what the Zimbabwean market is taking,” he said.
“We have the export model, but it now needs to be substantiated with capacity. We have largely used our resources to reach this point; there is now need for other stakeholders to come in.
“There is a huge market for healthy products, the only limit is our capacity.”
Market analysts Technavio has projected that the global healthy foods market is poised to grow by US$235,94 billion during 2020-2024, progressing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6 percent during the forecast period.
The company has capacity to produce 24 tonnes of cereal per month.
Through initiatives by the national trade promotion body, Glytime has also managed to secure space to set up a factory in an Special Economic Zone in Botswana, which will help the firm operate more cost-effectively in the long run.
Said Mr Marange: “We also secured a deal to establish a plant in a Special Economic Zone in Botswana.
“The minimum lease is 50 years, while import duty for raw materials is going to be free. Corporate tax will be at 5 percent.
“It was a government-to-government arrangement facilitated through the bilateral trade meeting, which we attended through the role played by ZimTrade.
“But we are not going to close the plant in Zimbabwe.
“We have figured out how to manage the macroeconomic challenges we are facing in the country.”
Internationally, people are increasingly adopting healthy and active lifestyles and changing their eating habits by consuming unprocessed and whole grain food, which gives local agro-processing firms an opportunity to tap into that market.
ZimTrade chief executive Mr Allan Majuru said financial institutions should show more faith in local exporting companies and assist them in boosting their capacities.