BY BUSINESS REPORTER LEADING agro-processor, Associated Foods of Zimbabwe (AFZ,) which scooped the Most Improved Manufacturer for the Year 2021 gong at the Buy Zimbabwe 2021 awards held last week, will establish groundnuts out-grower schemes this year to guarantee throughput for its Mama’s peanut butter product range, an official said yesterday.
AFZ, whose main raw materials are agro-based, is currently running out-grower schemes for tomatoes.
“We are actively involved in agriculture running out-grower schemes for our raw materials and we are looking to implement new initiatives and products that will cater for both the local and international markets,” the company’s sales and marketing executive, Mercy Kunaka said.
AFZ, which manufactures and distributes, spreads, preserves snacks, canned fruits and tomatoes, and canned fruits and vegetable paste, was one of the 50 companies honoured at the Buy Zimbabwe awards for promoting local production and competitiveness.
Last year the company was 2nd runner up for Manufacturer of the Year 2020 and believes that its growth trajectory over the last few years catapulted it to scoop the top manufacturers’ gong this year.
“We would like to thank Buy Zimbabwe for recognising us as the Most Improved Manufacturer for the Year 2021,” said Kunaka.
Over the past three years, AFZ has been on a growth trajectory introducing a number of new product lines which include baked beans, cornflakes, snacks and diabetic jams.
During the same period, the company injected about US$1,5 million into its production technologies for baked beans.
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It has also introduced Mama’s baked beans, which followed extensive research into product development.
The Buy Zimbabwe award came at a time when government had pledged support to local manufacturers in a bid to boost production and create employment.
AFZ has also implemented ISO22000 certification.
The firm is now focusing on attaining the FSSC22 000 certification which is a recognised global food safety standard.
“The ISO 22 000 certification was meant to enhance conformity with 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 on both local and export markets,” said Kunaka.
AFZ was established in January 2016, as a result of a merger between Honeywood Enterprises, Zimbabwe’s leading producer of jams, mainly under the “Farm Gold” brand, and Spread Valley (Pvt) Ltd, Zimbabwe’s leading producer of peanut butter, mainly under Mama’s brand.
Buy Zimbabwe, launched in 2011, is the prime and preferred competitive driver of quality Zimbabwean products. It has been promoting the consumption of local content and broadening local marketing to reach world-class standards.
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