VISITING German Minister of Food and Agriculture, Federal Christian Schmidt says Zambia has the potential to see its products attract the European Union (EU) market.
Mr. Schmidt said Zambia had the capacity for improved and increased production of agriculture products which would attract the European market.
Mr. Schmidt said this when he visited National Breweries new beer factory to inspect the plant’s state-of-the-art brewing facilities as well as packaging lines and laboratories.
He said he was personally interested in visiting the plant because much of the
equipment was supplied by German machinery companies and wanted to witness how they were performing in Zambia.
With the company’s inputs of maize sourced from local farmers, the minister was also keen to see how the company was benefitting small-scale Zambian farmers who were being supported by German-funded projects. And Zambia Breweries Group Technical Director Franz Schepping, explained that the company often bought its maize for the production of beer from the local market, mainly from small scale farmers who benefit from the German Government scheme.
The new factory in Sheki Sheki road has increased its annual beer production capacity from 1 million hectolitres of Chibuku to 1.5 million hectolitres, with the option to expand further to 2.5 million hectolitres. Technical manager Stan Kasoka said the company had employed over 200 workers who help produce the opaque beer in cartons, PET bottles and returnable plastic bottles.
“The new plant, which is operational but still under construction, is more energy efficient and enables higher quality and efficient operations while providing better facilities for staff and a more conducive work environment,” explained.
National Breweries, along with its sister companies Zambian Breweries Plc and Heinrich’s Beverages, were part of the SABMiller Group, one of the world’s largest brewers, with more than 200 beer brands and some 70,000 employees in over 75 countries. It was also one of the world’s largest bottlers of soft drinks.
Zambian Breweries was established in Zambia in 1968 and its product range has grown to include clear beers such as Mosi Lager, Castle, Carling Black Label and Eagle beer as well as the Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta and Schweppes brands and Burn energy drink.
National Breweries produces the Chibuku brand opaque beer, while Heinrich’s makes the popular Maheu Super Shake range.