NIGERIA – Chi Limited, Nigeria’s leading fruit juice, drinking yoghurt, evaporated milk, and snacks manufacturing company, has appointed Eelco Weber as its new Managing Director.
Eelco has had a long and illustrious career in the food industry and mostly in the dairy sector, serving companies such as Nutricia, Danone, Nutricima, Bio Food Products and Ma Cuisine Limited.
At Nutricia, a division of Danone that specialises in therapeutic food and clinical nutrition, Eelco held different senior position roles, serving as Project Manager, General Manager of Sales and Commercial Director both in Middle East and Europe.
He later moved Danone’s GCC operations, as its General Manager, where he led the turned around and restructuring of the organisation from a stand-alone Saudi Arabia unit, which was making significant losses while losing market share, to an energetic regional GCC team growing the business profitably.
In 2010, Eelco shifted to serving as General Manager of the French multinational dairy company’s newly set up base in Kenya, serving key African markets i.e., Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, and Ethiopia.
After his stint at Danone, he joined Nutricima, the then Joint Venture between PZ Cussons PLC and Glanbia from Ireland, as the Chief Executive Officer.
The Nutricima’s dairy business, comprising a range of powdered, evaporated and ready to drink milk products, was recently acquired by FrieslandCampina WAMCO.
In 2017 he embarked on a new professional adventure and took up the role of Managing Director at Kenya’s leading specialty dairy company Bio Food Products.
Under his leadership, Bio Foods tripled its sale and he oversaw the acquisition of a small fine foods business ‘Ma Cuisine’ in 2020 which grew tenfold in the first year after take over.
Now as the new head of The Coca-Cola Company owned business, Eelco is set to lead the major producer of juice brands in Nigeria into future growth.
“It is an honour to lead the fantastic Chi organisation of over 4500 passionate people from the current 1 billion consumer packs per year to the next level,” he said.
Eelco has Master’s degree in Economics from Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Chi Limited was established in Nigeria in 1980 and has grown into a rich product portfolio under the Chivita brand for juice products and the Hollandia brand for value added dairy goods.
Its range of snack foods includes SuperBite Premium Beef Sausage Roll, SuperBite Peppy, Beefie Beef Roll, Beefie Meat Pie, HungryMan’s Beefie and CHI Classic Cake.
Multinational soft beverage manufacturer, the Coca-Cola Company, acquired full ownership of the organization in 2019.
Meanwhile, Coca-Cola South Africa has announced the voluntary recall of certain batches of sparkling apple juice Appletiser after a standard quality testing routine revealed they were “outside of the acceptable standards”.
According to IOL reports, testing revealed a higher than acceptable level of patulin, which may cause illness if consumed.
Patulin is a mycotoxin, a naturally occurring toxin produced by certain moulds in foods. It is usually found in fruits such as apples and apple juices that are mouldy.