Foods Botswana (FB), the manufacturing arm of Sefalana Group has announced intentions to aggressively grow its bottle water business under the AStar brand.
The low level of profitable recorded by the Group’s manufacturing subsidiary for the six months ended 31 October 2019 due delays and red-tape on government feeding scheme orders is pushing the directors to think out of the box. The group’s beverage division’s government tender for children’s feeding scheme awarded to the company last year was contested by other parties and postponed, leading to FB not supplying any beverages to government.
“In particular, we look forward to expanding on our manufacturing business with fruit juice and bottled water,” said Financer Director Mohamed Osman.
In addition, the restriction on bottled water that was announced by government last year is inspiring the company’s expansion plans. “To support this, we will need to develop a warehouse to accommodate additional plant and equipment and storage,” said Osman.
On milling, Sefalana’s contracts for Tsabana and Malutu, the government feeding scheme products ended in September 2018 and the Group was awarded a four months’ interim supply, pending the 2018/19 tender consideration.
The delay has pushed Sefalana to focus on the manufacture and supply of branded products to utilise factory capacity.However, the directors remain optimistic that government will consider Sefalana for the tender and has already stockpiled raw materials for the tender.
“We are confident that our track record for delivery of a quality product in accordance with the required quantities and timetable over the years, will place us in a good position for the forthcoming award,” said Osman. Apart from manufacturing, the Group also intends to launch Sefalana Catering, a division that will focus on serving the large hospitality industry with frozen foods in wholesale size units.
Cell City rewards customers
Cell City gave away two Toyota Hilux pick up cars worth about P300 000 and three Hisense televion sets worth P15 000 each to their customers through their annual competition.
In partnership with Hisense and Orange Botswana, Cell City conducts annual competitions to reward their customers and contribute to citizen empowerment. Handing over the cars on Friday, Cell City Chief Executive Officer, Brian White said through the competition they want to satisfy their customers and give back to the community. “Cell City and Orange clients were given a chance to win either a Toyota Hilux pickup or a Hisense television set.
All they had to do was purchase any Hisense mobile phone from a Cell City or Orange retail outlet and fill in the competition form in the store,” said White.Thato Ntshabele, who won one of the cars told the Business Trends that she bought a Hisense cell phone worth P900. 00.
“I never expected that I can win a car. I was just filling the forms and dropped into the entry box and I forgot about it. I am so happy to receive this prize and I thank Cell City for this opportunity,” said Ntshabele. Another winner, Dimakatso Mmusi expressed his excitement saying he had always wanted a van and he is grateful to Cell City.
“I just bought a cell phone worth P899.00 at Cell City Railpark mall, I never expected anything, and I was just submitting the form as I was requested by the shop assistants. This car is very useful to me,” said Dimakatso.
Smecha chillie hits the shelves
For the love of food and the passion to apply modern technology processes in food manufacturing locally, Kgalaletso Mothoagae established her own brand, Smecha specializing in relishes.
She processes and packages chillie in 325 gramms and 1 litre bottles selling at P50 and P150. She told the Business Trends that she decided to process chillies as it is one of the products that are rarely processed in the food industry.
She started cooking it for home consumption and later started selling to friends and currently the product has gone beyond borders at South African Spar shops and Restaurants. “I couldn’t look for any other vegetable as most of them have already been processed in the market. It is my first product of research in the food industry so I found out that I can do good business with this product. This chillie is free from preservatives but still has extended shelf life of 6 months,” said Mothoagae
The Kanye born young lady studied food technology and has the passion to explore the food processing market in Botswana and contribute to reduce the high food import bill. “I wanted to explore more about food and use my skills to contribute to the development of the local food processing and manufacturing industry. I also wanted to supplement my income at the same time,” said Mothoagae.
She has a degree in Food Technology. She says there is a lot of potential for business growth as there is a demand for the product locally and in South Africa. “My main customers are individuals in homes, they have embraced the product, and they love the taste. There is also a market that has been secured in SA; it is available in several shops like spars and some restaurants”. In future, Mothoagae said she would increase the product range to 10 using various vegetables and flavours.
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