SOUTH AFRICA – Irish multinational taste and nutrition company, Kerry, has opened a new R650 million (US$40m) plant in KwaZulu-Natal aimed at producing sustainable food for the continent.
Located in Hammarsdale, KwaZulu-Natal, the new 10,000 sqm facility is one of the company’s largest and most advanced taste manufacturing facility on the African continent.
Its establishment is a testament of Kerry’s focus on meeting local consumer needs for half a century, grounded in great taste – one of the most important criteria in any food or beverage.
Deemed to be the most environmentally-efficient manufacturing sites, it features numerous sustainability features including low energy usage equipment, solar power generation to reduce consumption from the local grid, waste heat capture, and efficient water capture, reuse and reduction.
According to the South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Nomalungelo Gina, the project is recognised as a key strategic investment in the region of Kwa-Zulu Natal and within South Africa’s food manufacturing industry.
To this end it has been included as part of the South African Presidential investment drive to stimulate sustainable, equitable and inclusive growth as the foundation for socio-economic transformation in the country.
“We are excited about this investment because it aligns very well with our re-imagined industrial strategy,” he added.
Commenting on the opening, Edmond Scanlon, CEO Kerry Group, said, “The opening of the facility in Hammarsdale is a significant step forward in helping to realise our vision of creating a world of sustainable nutrition.
“Our suite of world leading technologies combined with our expertise and now this state-of-the-art manufacturing facility ensures that we can continue to work with our customers to produce great tasting, nutritious products that are respectful of our planet.”
Kerry has had a presence in South Africa since 2011 and its success has been based on its ability to deliver truly authentic African taste by identifying traditional food and flavours and reimagining it into today’s modern context.
Paul Hewitt, Vice President, Sub Saharan Africa Kerry Group elaborated on the company’s commitment saying, “More than understanding consumer taste, we are committed to predicting global and regional trends and innovating with our customers to lead the industry towards the next generation of sustainable African food and nutrition.
“South Africa is in a unique position to service East, Central as well as West Africa and we look forward to working with food and beverage companies to create products that will be enjoyed across the continent.”
Kerry is also expanding its Development and Application Centre in Nairobi, Kenya to further support customers in East Africa and the development of sustainable food processing for the continent.
The increased capacity and beefed-up efficiency of the center will complement its recently acquired Rwanda based Afribon.
Afribon specialised in the development, production and marketing of food flavours, running five production sites in Rwanda, Cameroon, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.
With Kerry’s innovation expertise, solutions portfolio and sustainability commitments, the company ultimately aims to decrease the environmental and social impacts of the food industry value chain so that consumers everywhere can make better, healthier choices and leave a better world for future generations.