Quality, Reliability, Nutrition
Writer: Matthew Staff
Project Manager: Joshua Mann
Over the next 12 months, BJK Industries will be celebrating its 20th birthday, representing two decades of life at the top of South Africa’s import, manufacturing and distributing sector for the pet nutrition, livestock, pharmaceutical and aqua feed ingredients industries.
Founded in 1997 by the then Tiger Brands Procurement Manager, Brendhan ‘Jock’ Kannemeyer, BJK was formed in collaboration with the globally renowned brand as a specialised outsource procurement agency to manage the influx of specialised essential ingredients to the organisation.
Nearly 20 years on, and BJK’s customer count now stands at 53, highlighting the quick impact that the business has made in proving itself on the national and international stage. October, 2015 has more recently seen 50 percent of Kannemeyer’s Company sold to Leo Group UK, a world-leading producer that specialises in processed animal proteins and fats; the trading and distribution of which being BJK’s main business.
Kannemeyer, the Company’s Chairman says: “Throughout the Company’s evolution the main continuous improvement strategies and philosophies have been around branding, quality, reliability and structured strategic partnerships with our suppliers and customers; and our focus on quality, reliability and nutrition especially ensures that the best ingredients are delivered directly to your factory door, in full, and on time.
“We currently service the pet food, animal and aqua feed manufacturing industries in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, and Nigeria and continue to focus on, and expand into, the sub-Saharan and West African markets.”
Incepted with a view to source critical ingredients for several leading food processing factories throughout South Africa, the aforementioned geographical expansion that has occurred is testament to the positive reputation consequently formed in the sector, and represents a rapid overall rise to prominence for BJK.
“A rapid transformation over the next three years [after 1997] with BJK investing in cold storage facilities, refrigeration equipment, warehousing and vehicles broadened our scope of activities and entrenched our position as the leading supplier of animal proteins to the pet food manufacturing industry,” the Company recalls. “Our focus on local production and development of an international supply network of sustainable products from audited and approved facilities supported our expansion into the livestock and aqua feed industries across the African continent.
“Our global reach and infrastructure enables us to always meet your pet nutrition and animal feed requirements.”
Continuous and ongoing investments into BJK’s core consideration – the quality of its product range – subsequently manifests in the form of new additions to the range, and substantial investments across its internal infrastructure.
Kannemeyer continues: “BJK has made substantial investments into high-tech stock management systems, warehousing, distribution vehicles and, most recently, plant and equipment for local manufacture. Through our partnership with Leo Group we have access to the world’s best technology, production and technical assistance.”
Combining all these facets with a dedicated and extensive supply chain management strategy ensures that the optimum internal structure is in place to produce and deliver the best possible array of products on an external level.
Within its pet nutrition division, BJK imports, manufactures and distributes valuable and essential ingredients for the production of dry pet food as well as canned and sachet pet food, promising clients the healthiest and tastiest option each time via the natural ingredients it continually sources during the procurement phase.
Within the livestock and aqua feed range, BJK is renowned for its categories across proteins, animal fats, oils and minerals, while finally, in the pharmaceutical ingredient domain – in which BJK has been a partner for many years – “some of our natural ingredients are processed to isolate base elements used in medicinal and dietary requirements, such as the extraction of enzymes from animal organs and omega 3 fish oils”, the Company explains.
To achieve such reputable and successful operations across an increasingly wide geographic footprint, the logistics of BJK’s setup have become more and more important over the years, with its head office in Cape Town more of a figurehead for the numerous facilities that follow in-tow, rather than the one-stop shop it could originally perform as.
Factories just outside of Johannesburg, Stellenbosch address rendering and plate-freezing facets of the highly refined process, and are compounded by equally important cold storage facilities in Montague Gardens and Pretoria; tonnages included in each rising as demand increases.
“Our primary cold storage business with a capacity of 1,300 tonnes is based in Montague Gardens where we have two purpose-built 16-tonne vehicles dedicated to our Western Cape distribution, while our facilities in Pretoria include BJK offices, a 600-tonne cold store, and two warehouses with a total floor space of 1,500 square metres. We have two purpose-built eight-tonne vehicles and a 32-tonne taut liner dedicated to our northern distribution,” the Company details.
Rounding off the logistical efforts is a 700 square metre warehouse in Graaff-Reinet dedicated to the bulk off-loading, bagging and storage of as much as 900 tonnes of BJK proteins; all combining to complement a distribution network which is being updated and added to on an increasingly frequent basis.
“BJK is all about our staff,” Kannemeyer emphasises. “We have a staff turnover of less than two percent, an average service of more than six years and BJK senior management and directors boast more than 10 – and in some cases, 15 – years with the Company.
“Training and continuous improvement are high on our agenda and 90 percent of our promotions come from within the Company and we only employ local people.”
Once again, and ultimately, this contributes to the levels of innovation, customer service, flexibility, quality and reliability that Commercial Director, Ricardo Louw lists as being BJK’s key market differentiators, and is also compounded by a Quality Assurance Programme that further guarantees customers the highest standard of ingredients.”
Kannemeyer concludes: “The Company enjoyed 17 years of continuous growth until our first flat year in 2015. We now expect to achieve significant growth and expansion year-on-year for the next three-five years.”