Ethiopian dairy company MB Plc seeks to export its UHT milk to neighboring countries

ETHIOPIA – MB Plc, one of the leading dairy processors in Ethiopia trading under the name Family Milk is seeking to venture into the export market in a bid to expand its base and increase earnings.

The move follows the recent installation of the company’s automatic UHT milk processing plant in Addis Ababa.

The new plant having a processing capacity of 40,000 litres per day, enables the dairy processor to produce the long-life milk with up to six months shelf life, thus suitable for export.

“We have planned to join the export market since our establishment. Meanwhile commencing production of products with longer shelf life took us some time than we expected.

“Now we are producing UHT milks that have at least six month of shelf life and ready to start the export,” said Hailu Eshetu, CEO of MB-PLC.

MB Plc is eyeing the Sudan, Djibouti and Somaliland markets, among others, reports New Business Ethiopia.

Other than producing both fresh and UHT milk, the company’s product lines include yoghurts, butters and cheeses.

“We have planned to join the export market since our establishment. Now we are producing UHT milks that have at least six month of shelf life and ready to start the export.”

CEO of MB-PLC – Hailu Eshetu

According to the reports, the country’s dairy industry is still in its infant stage with a milk per capita of 20 litres and is faced with a myriad of challenges.

Some of the major constraints of the sector include lack of regulatory policy, lack of raw materials, and unfair competition from the informal sector, according to Mr. Hailu, who also mentioned similar cheaper imported products as challenge for the growth of Ethiopia’s dairy industry.

Pearl Dairy Farm Limited (PDFL), the largest dairy processor in Uganda, marketing its products under its flagship brand LATO, recently announced its expansion plan into a number of African countries including Ethiopia.

Meanwhile, Ice cream and frozen dairy products manufacturer, Fan Milk Ghana Limited has announced an acquisition of 5.46% of the company’s shares by its parent company, Fan Milk International A/S.

This takes Fan Milk International A/S current shareholding in Fan Milk Ghana Limited to 62.10% after the purchase of 6,345,563 shares ordinary shares.

The shares were previously held by Hong Kong Shanghai Arisaig Africa Consumer Fund.

Other than Ghana, Fan Milk a subsidiary of multinational food-products corporation Danone, has operations in Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, and Burkina Faso.

In Nigeria, the company recently partnered with the government of Ogun state to undertake a backward integration project aimed at enhancing local dairy production.

Under the project Fan Milk intends to develop a world-class dairy farm and technical institute at the Odeda Farm Institute, bringing the expertise of its parent company to the fore.

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