ZIMBABWE – African Distillers Ltd (Afdis), one of the best wines and spirits maker in the region has said it would focus on exporting ciders into the regional market.

This comes after they commissioned a new line, according to the Herald. The export will begin in a year’s time according to the CEO Mr Cecil Gombera.

He said, “In the next twelve months, we should see products from this line going into the region”.

The cider line packaging line which cost $5 million will increase the annual production capacity to 54 million litres up from 34 million litres.

The line will be producing 420 litres an hour, an increase from the previous 1300 litres per hour.

The new plant, according to the chairman Mr. Joe Mtizwa, is designed for a range of products increasing comparative efficiency even in the production of existing products.

He also said that as the business was focusing on expansion, it will come along with a competitive advantage in the regional export market.

Afdis has for a long time imported ciders from South Africa and this leads to higher prices related to the high import duties involved.

Mr Gombera said the company was targeting a 23 to 25% decrease in prices and this would stir higher demand for the product.

He said the investment will considerably bring down the prices that are brought up by importing.

According to the Herald, the minister for industry and commerce Mike Bimba speaking at the event said, “Let me begin by expressing my heartfelt pleasure to note that over the past seven decades, African Distillers Limited has made significant capital and capacity development investments.

These have had a direct socio-economic impact on the Zimbabwean economy as evidenced by the information I have been provided indicating that the company has indeed invested over $5 million into the project”.

He added that the beverage industry was one of the industries on the lead in reviving the economy of the country.