ZIMBABWE – Kwekwe-based dairy concern; Dendairy has invested about $4 million in the purchase of an additional manufacturing line that will see the company increasing its product portfolio.

The new line is expected to bring with it new flavours into the company’s product portfolio.

Dendairy has already invested about $6 million towards the purchase of Tetrapak plant which saw the company becoming the first local dairy firm to introduce long shelf-life milk on the market.

This new investment brings the company’s total investment on plant expansion to $10 million in almost two years.

Dendairy director, Mr Daryl Archibald said the new line is expected to be commissioned early October this year.

“We have invested an additional $4 million towards bringing a new line and we hope this will go a long way in increasing our product portfolio after investing about $6 million towards the purchase of our Tetrapak plant in Kwekwe.

“We have done trials but we are not yet in the market and I hope once the new line starts running we may introduce more flavours in our portfolio,” said Mr Archibald.

The Tetra Pak plant will see the dairy company increasing milk production to five million litres a month against a national demand of eight million litres per month, which will make it the leading player in the dairy industry in the country.

Mr Archibald bemoaned the influx of imported dairy products on the local market, which he said is threatening the revival of the industry and called on Government to impose surtax on dairy products to allow local products to compete on a level playing field.

He cited the high input and production costs as some of the reasons local dairy products are failing to compete with imported foreign products.

The dairy industry is currently operating at about 45 percent capacity, producing 51 million litres of milk annually against a national demand of around 120 million litres.

The vacuum has been being filled by imports mainly from South Africa, New Zealand, the European Union, the United States and Australia.

National milk production increased from 150 million litres in 1980, peaking at 256 million litres in 1990 before plummeting to an all-time low of 36 million litres in 2009.

The industry has since started to recover and managed to produce 51 million litres in 2011 through the “Think Milk, Drink Milk” campaign spearheaded by the Zimbabwe Dairy Industry Trust.

The country has a potential to process 400 million litres of milk per year. Dendairy is lobbying for offshore funding for a heifer project that would require $6 million over the next five years.

The initiative is set to go a long way in improving the production of raw milk in the country.

September 28, 2014; http://allafrica.com/stories/201409260052.html

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