Beverages manufacturer Schweppes Zimbabwe is operating below optimum capacity due to a severe shortage of fruits. The company processes citrus fruits into juices and raw fruits into pastes and purees. The company was targeting 20 000 tonnes of raw fruit this year. However, last year the company received only 2 400 tonnes of raw fruit out of the targeted 12 000 tonnes. That was less than 25 percent of the expected amount.
Smart Zongololo, the general manager of Best Fruit Processors, a unit of Schweppes said:
The problem is that we are not getting enough raw materials in the form of raw fruits from the local market. We are not getting enough to run our factories. We want to process about 20 000 tonnes of raw fruit this year but we are not expecting to get enough because local farmers are not growing enough. Last year, we got about 2 400 tonnes of raw fruit from a target of 12 000 tonnes.
Apart from that, we realised that the cost of inputs such as fertilisers are also a problem. We want to make sure that the costs are effective. We want to sit down with them (farmers), mobilise them and second agronomists to assist them.
More: Financial Gazette