Tawanda Musarurwa Senior Business Reporter
ONE of Zimbabwe’s largest cooking oil manufacturers, Surface Wilmar has resumed operations after receiving foreign currency support from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to kick-start operations.
Surface Wilmar had stopped operations in January this year, citing challenges getting foreign currency, which have dogged the entire industry resulting in firms failing to meet foreign supplier obligations.
The cooking oil producer was founded in 2006 and is one of the largest cooking oil manufacturers in the region, using soyabean and cotton seeds to produce edible oils, soaps and other by-products.
It operates a cooking oil manufacturing plant in Chitungwiza (which makes the Pure Drop cooking oil brand) and Olivine Industries, which also makes cooking oil, soaps and margarine among other products.
Surface Wilmar chief executive officer Mr Sylvester Mangani said the funding availed had seen the company resuming operations, although more funding was required to reach full production.
He said the firm had since resumed production of Pure Drop and Olivine cooking oil brands.
“We had stopped production because of the foreign currency challenges but our commitment to Zimbabwe never changed. We remain firmly committed to Zimbabwe and it is our belief that we will remain the biggest cooking oil manufacturer,” said Mr Mangani.
Mr Mangani further said the company was around for the long haul and remained one of the biggest employers in the cooking oil industry.
Surface Wilmar is a joint venture between the Singapore head-quartered agribusiness group, Wilmar and Midex Global of India.