ZAMBIA – As Zambia and the world at large confronts public health, financial and economic implications of the coronavirus outbreak, Zambian Breweries has pledged to continue contributing supplies and looking beyond its beer production business to help the government fight the pandemic by producing and distributing alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
According to the company’s press-release, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Hon. Christopher Yaluma toured the company’s Mungwi Road plant in Lusaka this week to get a first-hand understanding of the work being done, particularly in helping improve the supply of hand sanitisers.
Operations Director Franz Schepping explained the company had gone outside its comfort zone to supplement efforts against the virus, using its laboratory to develop a hand sanitiser formula that is being manually packaged for donation, but not for resale.
“As Zambian Breweries, we are seeing beyond the crisis and looking for opportunities to survive, save employment and help our country. In our endeavour to support the front line medical staff, together with our staff, we have gone out of our comfort zones to innovate into the production of hand sanitisers,” said Mr Schepping.
He further indicated the company would do more to support partnerships that increased opportunities to grow the economy.
He added, “I can confirm that discussions are now on-going on with key players in the market such as Zambia Sugar, Zambeef, and the potential producers of ethanol.”
Mr Schepping disclosed that Zambian Breweries would remain supportive to measures taken by government on restrictions to opening of bars and taverns, and allowing off-premise outlets and chain stores to sell liquor.
“We need a healthy and productive community for us to continue to be in business,” he emphasised.
Zambian Breweries Country Director Jose Moran added: “As with other businesses, we face challenges due to COVID-19. We share the pain of our retailers and distributors who have been impacted by the virus, and we remain determined to support our nation and the people of Zambia as we join together – at a distance – to fight the spread.”
Meanwhile, speaking after the tour, Mr Yaluma said government was committed to supporting businesses creating more opportunities for local people, saying, “Government will remain open and supportive to businesses like Zambia Breweries that add value to the economy of Zambia.”