Consumer goods giant Unilever has broken ground on a R500 million ice-cream manufacturing facility in Midrand that it says will "help drive sustainable growth for the company in the fast-growing developing and emerging markets".
In a statement, Unilever said the new factory would "increase capacity for growth and service increasing demand for brands like Magnum, Cornetto, Gino Ginelli, Paddlepop, Frutarre and Rich n Creamy in South Africa."
Pier Luigi Sigismondi, Chief Supply Chain Officer Unilever, said: "Unilever's supply chain is central to the company's delivery of consistent, sustainable and profitable growth. This investment is part of our expansion plans and one of the thirty new factories being built by 2015. We will employ the latest technology to deliver the increased quality products our consumers demand whilst meeting the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan commitments."
This development follows a R1 billion Unilever investment announced early this year for new Home Care facilities in Boksburg, Johannesburg and a R670 million investment in a new Savoury products factory announced at the end of 2011 in Durban.
Peter Cowan, Chairman Unilever South Africa said, "The ice cream market in South Africa is relatively small, but is one that we believe has significant potential. South Africans eat only one litre of ice cream a year, when Turks eat nearly 2.5 litres and New Zealanders 15 litres. This investment in a brand new facility in Midrand will use novel construction techniques to build a facility that will enable us to capitalise on the growth potential we see.
"With investments planned across South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote D'Ivoire, Kenya and Zimbabwe, this is just another example of our multi-year, multi-million investment plan to cater for our growth in South Africa. It will enable us to better serve consumers with innovation and green technology, as well as improve service levels to our retail customers. It underscores our ongoing commitment to the long term future of South Africa. The development will deliver a low energy, environmentally efficient factory with zero waste to landfill."
The ground-breaking ceremony for the new facility was attended by members of the Unilever SA Board, theDeputy Director-General of the Department of Trade and Industry, Ms Pumla Ncapayi, Member of the Mayoral Committee, Mr Bennett Nkani and his contingent.
Image: © Unilever
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