ZAMBIA – Zambeef Products Plc, the integrated cold chain foods and retail business in Zambia, has promoted its Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Faith Misozi Mukutu to be the company’s head, effective 1st July, 2022.
She becomes the first Zambian CEO in the 28-year history of Zambeef, which is listed on the Lusaka Securities Exchange and the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange.
Ms. Mukutu succeeds Mr. Walter Roodt, who has been at the helm since January, 2020. He will continue with the company focusing on strategic projects as a Board member.
Mr. Michael Mundashi SC., the Chairman of the Board, commented, “The Board is confident that Faith’s combination of financial aptitude, operational skill, strategic flair and capital markets experience is fundamental to delivering the strategic imperatives the company has embarked on.”
Ms Mutuku joined Zambeef in 2019 as Chief Financial Officer, a role to which she brought a wealth of experience, having been Finance Director of three listed entities; Zambian Breweries Plc, National Breweries Plc. and Zambia Sugar Plc.
A fellow of ZICA, an accounting and finance professional having experience of over 20 years, mostly spent in leadership positions, she combines her solid academic qualifications with the requisite breadth and depth of experience leading national and multi-national organisations.
“Zambeef is a home-grown world-class company that has set a new standard in food production and retailing, creating thousands of jobs and supporting our farmers throughout the country.
“I am thus immensely proud that the board has given me this opportunity to take the company to the next level,” said Ms Mukutu.
Ms Mukutu takes over the helm of the company at a time the food processor enters a period of expansion that aims to support national and regional food security.
Recently Zambeef unveiled a US$100 million expansion plan that will double its Mpongwe Farms crop production while adding associated value and capacity to the company’s stockfeed, meat processing and retailing operations.
The investment will ensure national food security and boost the Zambian economy through job creation, increased tax revenue and a deepening of the market for small-scale and emerging farmers across the country.
“Zambeef is proud to announce an investment of this magnitude, doubling the cropping capacity at a time when Zambia, Africa and the world need investments of this nature.
“The expansion will also mean even more cash getting into the farthest corners of our rural areas as we increase employment and buy more livestock from our local farmers,” said Zambeef Board Chairman Michael Mundashi.
Central to the investment strategy will be a doubling of wheat and soybean capacity at the company’s Mpongwe farms, with the area under cultivation growing from the current 3,343 hectares under irrigation and 7,621 hectares of rainfed cropping.
The first crop from the expanded operations is expected to be planted in the winter of 2023 with capacity upgrades to milling and processing facilities running in parallel.
The plan will deliver improved production efficiency and capacity that will filter through the company’s vertically integrated food value chains.
“This investment is proof of the company’s commitment and belief in the country’s ambition of becoming the regional food basket.
“The investment programme could not have come at a better time, as the world is grappling with record food inflation and an imminent food crisis,” said Mr Mundashi.
Zambeef is in the process of securing funding for the expansion, and is confident that the current pro-business stance of the New Dawn government would attract international funding.
The investment will also strengthen the company’s environmental and sustainability agenda through upgrading and optimisation of existing facilities.