CCBA cuts ribbon to US$100m bottling plant in Ethiopia to ease foreign exchange constraints

ETHIOPIA – Coca-Cola Beverages Africa has opened a new US$100 million bottling plant at Sebeta in Ethiopia, to boost local production.

The new plant will enable the company to integrate the production of inputs such as preforms, closures and other materials.

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Production of these input materials, besides meeting CCBA’s own demand, is planned for the export market to generate foreign exchange and supply the local market to help resolve shortages in the sector.

Its completion brings CCBA’s production capacity in Ethiopia to more than 100 million cases a year and as well as enable local production of new products such as Minute Maid Juice, reducing imports and adding to national GDP.

The inauguration of the factory was attended by government representatives, accompanied by CCBA Ethiopia Managing Director Daryl Wilson, CCBA CEO Jacques Vermeulen and Africa President for The Coca-Cola Company Bruno Pietracci.

Construction of the Sebeta plant began in 2019, following the announcement of a US$300 million investment over five years to expand CCBA’s operations in Ethiopia. A sixth plant is planned at Hawassa.

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The first Coca-Cola bottle was manufactured in 1959 in Addis Ababa in the Abinet Area. Since then, Coca-Cola has built a very strong local business in Ethiopia over more than six-decades of investment, creating shared opportunity for communities and employees as it continues to grow.

“CCBA is a proud industry leader in developing increasingly sustainable ways to produce, distribute and sell our products.

“We aim to create greater shared opportunity for the business and our host communities across the value-chain.

“This is about more than just money, it’s about a better future for people and their communities everywhere on the African continent,” Vermeulen said.

The new facility adds 500 employees to the workforce of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) in the country.

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Through investments in the Eastern Africa nation, the company has grown direct employment opportunities from 1,000 in 2012 to over 3,500 in 2022, while more than 70,000 people are beneficiaries of its value chain.

“We are proud to work with thousands of small businesses throughout the country to serve the millions of Ethiopians who choose to enjoy our products each day.

“We hire locally, produce and distribute our products locally and are increasingly sourcing locally through local farmers, suppliers and retailers,” Wilson said.

CCBA supports Ethiopia’s communities

In line with its strong principle of doing business the right way, CCBA has constructed a school at a total cost of US$236,000 in Sebeta following consultations with the community to understand their needs.

This follows the building of two state-of-the-art school blocks at Shimbit Elementary School near CCBA’s plant in Bahir Dar, benefitting 1,600 students at a total cost of $220,000.

CCBA has also set up 17 polyethylene phthalate (PET) collection centres and trained and empowered more than 14,000 women PET collectors in the country, as well as launching a 20 million-birr women and youth economic inclusion project in partnership with the Job Creation Commission of Ethiopia.

“Our investment in the Sebeta Dima Coca-Cola Factory confirms that we are here for the long haul, and we look forward to many more years of refreshing Ethiopia every day and making this country a better place for all,” said Vermeulen.

Pietracci said The Coca-Cola Company believes in Africa’s strong potential as the next growth engine of the global economy.

“Africa has a growing and rapidly urbanising population who is brand conscious, economically active, highly connected and innovative and will drive the continent’s dynamic growth.

“Over the past 90 years in Africa, we have built a pervasive and very strong local business, creating shared opportunity in every country on the continent. This has been one of our greatest strengths and we will continue playing a significant role in Africa,” Pietracci said.

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