Nestlé Zimbabwe has opened a new $2.5m cereals manufacturing line. The new line will add 30% additional volume throughput, as the company looks to triple annual exports from $4.8m to $14.4m. Nestlé also announced the launch of two new products: Nestlé Cerevita Instant Sour Porridge and Nestlé Cremora with Milk.
Managing Director for Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi, Eunice Ganyawu-Magwali, took over the role in December 2019 and was tasked with implementing Nestlé’s transformation plan. That plan was built on being more local and sustainable.
At its heart, Nestlé has sought to reduce the foreign currency requirement for its business from 85% to 20%. This means more import substitution and the use of local ingredients, expanding local manufacturing capacity and better product innovation for low income local markets.
Nestlé’s R&D team in Côte d’Ivoire led the development of Nestlé Cerevita Instant Sour Porridge, which was first launched in July in trial stores in Zimbabwe. It is designed to be an affordable and nutritious breakfast solution for lower income consumers.
Nestlé is also looking at transforming the local value chain, looking at its route to market in rural areas and how it can empower communities and female entrepreneurs to help its business grow.
Two key programmes for Nestlé were:
- Nestlé Dairy Empowerment Scheme (NDES) for commercial farmers (started in 2011). In 2015 the scheme was rolled to small-scale farmers. Nestlé Zimbabwe trains local farmers on milk production, agripreneurship, and assists them to establish low-cost, low input, sustainable dairy farms. The scheme has so far worked with 54 farmers.
- MyOwnBusiness (MYOWBU), which helps empower female entrepreneurs to run their own businesses and become sub-distributors for Nestlé. he scheme has so far worked with 60 entrepreneurs.
Nestle has been operating in Zimbabwe since 1959 and this year celebrated its 60th anniversary. Since 2010, Nestlé claims to have invested $40m in Zimbabwe – a remarkable show of faith during a turbulent and challenging period which seen considerable economic instability.