Cavibel SA aims to inspire moments of happiness in supporting the sustainable development of Cape Verde
Writer: Matthew Staff
Over the past two decades, Equatorial Coca-Cola Bottling Co. has expanded its continental operations in Africa to Ghana, Morocco and Algeria to reach a lucky 13-country footprint. Arguably though, none of the globally-renowned beverage manufacturer’s operations are quite as complex or nationally significant as across the 10 islands of Cape Verde.
World famous for the bottling of brands including Coke, Coke Zero, Fanta and Sprite, the Group’s Cape Verde representative, Cavibel SA, has looked to enrich the nation for more than 20 years via this established offering, as well as a more tailored portfolio that includes water, juice, and beer products.
Across the board, the vision is to consolidate its leadership position as the number one total beverage company in the archipelago.
“This complex structure works in close relation to align strategies and resources to respond to the demands of the operations in nine islands of the country, where Cavibel has five direct distribution centres and four exclusive distributors,” explains Country Manager, Rodrigo Chies. “In the two most touristic-developed islands, Cavibel has a direct distribution centre with full capacity to provide technical services and products to the hospitality channel.
“In fact, Cavibel is well recognised in the country for being one of the few companies with the capacity and ability to respond to the demands of a complex business such as the all-inclusive hostel business, either in terms of quality or quantity.”
This capability derives from Cavibel’s other differentiators in being the only local company to own a local beer manufacturing plant, and to actually own the only national beer brand, Strela.
“This gives to our company a competitive advantage that enables us to play an important role in fostering the Cape Verdean economy through tourism; driven by our other differentiators which focus on the quality of our products, the fostering of a national brand, and the role we play in social responsibility,” Chies adds.
Ahead of local expectations
The notion of quality perhaps overrides all of the above, not just in embracing the products, but in how Cavibel conducts itself in general. The business’s core philosophy, “what we do, we do well” further compounds this ethos but once again brings to mind more than simply thirst quenching.
“To keep on digging into this market that has become more competitive and more demanding, during these 20 years we have never given up on guaranteeing quality in all senses,” Chies affirms. “We are strongly committed to giving quality to our customers and we will keep on producing locally while always following international good practices and procedures to guarantee that our consumers will always have the best from us.”
Testament to such a philosophy is its locally produced beer brand, Strela, which has received five international quality awards from the International Taste & Quality Institute (ITQI).
Chies continues: “We want to grow our business, but not at all costs though. We also work very closely with the strategies of wider country development and we look to grow the business in support of this local development.
“We also follow the daily market trends in order to understand such developments and what the consumers need. The market is alive and speaks every day and in different ways. Thus, we are focused on giving our consumers alternatives of healthier drinks, such as our new juice, Rani.”
Similar innovations across its sparkling category have resulted in reduced sugar content and more contemporary packaging; while the aforementioned Strela brand has diversified its alcohol contents across the overall range.
“Cavibel is a company that is also aligned to the rules and regulations of the country in terms of manufacturing good practices and sometimes is even ahead of the local expectations,” Chies notes. “We therefore comply with all internal and external audits to guarantee that our procedures adhere to international patterns such as ISO9001, FSSC22000, and OHSAS 18001.”
Motivating project development
Implementing Cavibel’s commitment to the values of excellence, diversity and positive results is a strong team of local employees, each driven by principles of engagement, accountability, entrepreneurship and sustainability.
Subsequently adopting a recruitment structure which focuses as much on attitude and application as it does on technical ability, the culmination is a safe and stable environment conducive to peripheral business growth.
Chies details: “Among several regular work benefits, Cavibel provides training oriented to the goals of the business; motivating project development through our internal talent contests, providing growth opportunities within the country, and generating international career options within the Group system.
“Additionally, as much as 90 percent of our workforce is local, with 9.3 out of the remaining 10 percent accounted for from the African continent. Cavibel is also aware of gender equality with a 50-50 split of males and females on the managing board.”
This brings to the fore notions of corporate social responsibility (CSR), something that the Company has prided itself on over the years as it looks to ingrain its business success and financial clout into the wider fabric of Cape Verde.
Education, the environment, health, tourism and culture consequently dominate Cavibel’s attentions to this end as the business looks to be a key contributor to the country’s sustainable development.
“On the health side, Cavibel contributes annually to the cataract surgery of the local population. Until now, with the support of Barraquer Foundation, we have given sight to more than 500 patients during two surgery sessions that have happened in one week,” says Hernidia Tavares, Marketing & PAC Manager. “Also, joining efforts with Ruta de la Luz Foundation, we have donated more than 700 pairs of glasses to children suffering from myopia.
“Finally, in partnership with Medshare through the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, for the second year, Cavibel has supported four central hospitals in the country with two full containers of medical supplies amounting to an investment of more than US$400,000.”
The education strand has included the sponsoring of children, the provision of school uniforms and the promotion of academic contests to enhance national literacy levels; while environmental protection has been encompassed by Cavibel’s status as the only beverage company in the country to own a wastewater treatment plant and a PET recycling programme.
“Finally, on the tourism and culture front, Cavibel is committed to the internationalisation of the country, developing project strategies that go beyond the barriers of the country,” Mrs Tavares finalises.
Inspiring moments of happiness
Having an established, stable and sustainable internal structure in place has allowed the renowned factory operations and resultant products to flourish accordingly. And inevitably, through having such a comprehensive international influence and network, the business is also best equipped to foresee and react to any fluctuating industry trends.
Chies offers: “At present, with the awareness of energy and water savings, productivity increases, safety, occupational health, and environmental protection, Cavibel is having to monitor each of these related KPIs as they become more decisive to the sustainability of the industry, and indeed our performance in the market.
“Our solutions have included energy and water savings, productivity increases, improved raw material yields, an improved safety and occupational health rate, and our aforementioned wastewater treatment facility.”
On a more industrial note, the unveiling of new facility upgrade across beer lab remodelling and administration systems and concerted improvements across areas of supply chain management have helped to compound Cavibel’s ever-intensifying stronghold.
Chies concludes: “All of this results in competitive advantages across product quality, national branding and CSR, and in the future I would like to report even more investments into this country.
“In turn, this will result in more opportunities of employment, improved capabilities across our workers and facilities, and an improved capability to attend the demands of the market. In a nutshell, we are the Company that wants to keep inspiring moments of happiness in supporting the sustainable development of this country.”