AGRICULTURE

ZAMBEEF MODEL IMPRESSES GLOBAL AUDITORS

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Grant Thornton delegation visits agribusiness and food processing giant

Zambeef’s Huntley Farm General Manager Francis Mondomona (centre left), shows cattle feed to visiting delegates from Grant Thornton.

Zambeef’s Huntley Farm General Manager Francis Mondomona (centre left), shows cattle feed to visiting delegates from Grant Thornton.

Zambeef Products Plc received high-level endorsement of its business model this week when it hosted a tour of operations by the global leader of its accounting firm, Grant Thornton.

Grant Thornton’s Global Leader for Business Development and Markets, Dr Gernot Hebestreit, accompanied by Managing Partner for Zambia Edgar Hamuwele, Botswana Managing Partner Jay Ramesh, Zambia Deputy Managing Partner Christopher Mulenga and audit partner Wesley Beene, visited Zambeef’s Huntley Farm operations in Chisamba.

“I am really impressed – and looking at the history of Zambeef – that’s real dynamism. I am also impressed with the state-of-the art technology; with the quality control; and with the vertical integration from the start to the end customer,” said Dr Hebestreit.

The tour began at Kalundu Dairy farm, where Zambeef is milking 768 cows, producing 18,000 litres of milk per day. Its 2,158-strong herd also includes more than 200 in-calf heifers, helping the group’s strategy to build the milking herd to 1,500-2,000 in the next five years.

Guests from Grant Thornton inspect a calf at Zambeef’s Kalundu Dairy Farm.

Guests from Grant Thornton inspect a calf at Zambeef’s Kalundu Dairy Farm.

The visitors then moved to nearby Huntley Farm – the nerve centre of Zambeef’s operations, where they inspected the meat processing plant, including the company’s new gyro-freezer, as well as beef, chicken and sausage production.

The state-of-the-art ZamMilk dairy processing plant enabled the delegation to see at first-hand the production and packaging of drinking yoghurt, fermented milk and fresh milk products, of which some 60 percent are produced from milk supplied by the Kalundu herd, and the remainder from milk supplied by small-scale farmers.

A tour of the cattle feedlot area reinforced the importance of Zambeef’s model of vertical integration, in which the group works to add value at every step of the production chain, from crop production, animal feed production, milling, beef, chicken, dairy and pig farming, meat processing and packaging, and retailing through its network of 121 retail outlets countrywide.

“Zambeef recognises that it owes much of its success to the strength of the supporting team that it has built. This incudes its 5,500-strong workforce, a team of dedicated managers and directors, small-scale farmer suppliers, the regulatory agencies, and professional support services such as its bankers, and auditors. Grant Thornton has been an important long-term partner in that strategy,” said Zambeef Head of Public Relations and Corporate Affairs Felix Lupindula, who led the tour with Huntley Farm General Manager Francis Mondomona.

Grant Thornton’s Global Leader for Business Development and Markets, Dr Gernot Hebestreit (centre) and colleagues visit Zambeef’s meat processing plant in Chisamba.

Grant Thornton’s Global Leader for Business Development and Markets, Dr Gernot Hebestreit (centre) and colleagues visit Zambeef’s meat processing plant in Chisamba.

Dr Hebestreit  said: “Everything is on a growth trajectory, with increases in cow capacity, chicken, milk and cropping. Everywhere they are expanding, and that is the best evidence of success, if you have the demand exceeding supply. As Grant Thornton, we are proud to be associated with a valued owner-managed agribusiness group that has grown into a multinational and is listed on the Lusaka Stock Exchange and the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange, and we wish the group continued growth and success in the future.”

“It is a very good operation and we need more of such operations in the country to help grow the economy. When you look at Zambeef’s operations, covering all the ten provinces, you see they have taken development to different parts of the country, which is what we need,” said Grant Thornton Managing Partner in Zambia Edgar Hamuwele.

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