By Anyway Yotamu
Glytime Foods has made it into the regional markets despite financial challenges faced by the business community in the country, by securing a contract to supply its products into neighboring Zambia.
The company specialises in the manufacturing of honey and healthy cereals.
Speaking during a media tour organised by ZimTrade in Harare on the 13th of July 2020, Mr. Lesley Marange who is the Chief executive, said the Zambian deal will see the company supplying 40 tonnes of honey and 40 tonnes of cereals monthly to that market with an estimated US$50, 000 revenue per month.
“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 .
The 31-year-old Marange said there is a significant demand for the company’s products in the SADC region despite the capacity constraints.
“The Bostwana, Angolan, DRC, and Namibian markets have indicated interest. But what is stopping us from taking the product there is the issue of our capacity at the moment.
“Current capacity allows us to cater to 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.”
The company has the 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 with 50 year minimum lease agreement in that country.
Said Mr. Marange: “We also secured a deal to establish a plant in 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. This is a government-to-government agreement facilitated through the bilateral trade meeting, which we attended through the ZimTrade and we’re not going to close the plant in Zimbabwe.”
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 put more faith in local exporting companies and assist them in boosting their capacities and attraction of foreign direct investment opportunities.
Mr. Majuru further added that ” The business community should take advantage of exploring opportunities and avenues which are being spearheaded by Zimbabwe Trade to spread wings in different markets in the region and beyond.”
Glytime private limited was founded by a 31-year-old, Lesley Marange in 2018. It was commercialized in 2019 and it has since increased its production capacity to supply the local market across the country. So far, the company is supplying its products to OK, Pick n Pay, Bon Marche, and OK Mart shops.