Local company, DCK Investments, is looking to boost its bread output to 230 000 loaves per day after investing in more bakery assets.
DCK owner, Douglas Kwande, said in an interview recently that the company would soon commission three more plants in Chitungwiza, Bulawayo and Masvingo.
This dovetails with Government’s devolution agenda, which among other things seeks decentralisation of economic activities across the country. The company, whose other business interests include milling, retail and agriculture, opened its first bakery in Gweru last year at a cost of US$320 000 with daily capacity of nearly 30 000 loaves. The bakery uses 100 percent locally sourced ingredients.
“We have acquired assets previously owned by Aroma Bakeries (formerly owned by Blue Ribbon Foods) in Chitungwiza and Downings in Bulawayo and these will be commissioned soon.We are also looking at opening another plant in Masvingo and this should take us to about 230 000 loaves. Our ultimate goal is to become a big player in Zimbabwe’s baking industry,” said Kwande.
The local baking industry, which has an installed capacity of 1.8 million loaves a day, is dominated by Lobels, Bakers Inn, a unit of Innscor Ltd and Marondera-based Proton. The big three enjoy a combined 85 percent of the market share. The smaller bakeries control the balance. Over the past decade, several small to medium bakeries ceased operations due to difficult operating environment such as lack of working capital, high production costs and antiquated equipment.
“We are an indigenous production oriented company and our vision is to become a dominant player in primary wheat production, milling and baking; participating in the entire value chain,” said Kwande.
Through another investment vehicle, Kwande recently acquired Zimglass from the Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe. Plans are underway to revive the country’s sole glass products manufacturer, mothballed about a decade ago. Kwande recently told our sister paper, The Sunday Mail Business that “a lot of work” was already underway to bring back the factory to life, including acquisition of new equipment and furnaces.
“There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes, but it’s unfortunate that with global travel restrictions due to Covid-19, our team has been unable to go to China to assess the equipment and appreciate the products being produced by such equipment. We have the quotations and it seems we need as much as US$20 million in new equipment,” said Kwande.
A number of financial institutions have expressed interest to fund the revival of Zimglass given its potential.