Irish food company The Kerry Group has opened a new € 38 million (Rr 650 million) plant in KwaZulu-Natal aimed at producing sustainable food for the continent.
Located in Hammarsdale, KwaZulu-Natal, the new 10,000sqm facility is one of the company’s most environmentally efficient manufacturing sites with numerous sustainability features including energy-efficient equipment, solar power generation to reduce the consumption from the local network, capture of residual heat and Efficient capture, reuse and reduction of water.
The group, present in South Africa since 2011, produces a range of food products including frozen meals, hot and cold cakes, processed meats and milk-based spreads. Major brands include Dairygold, Denny and Richmond.
“The opening of the Hammarsdale facility is a significant step forward in helping to realize our vision of creating a world of sustainable nutrition,” said Chief Executive Edmond Scanlon.
“For 50 years, Kerry has focused on meeting the needs of local consumers based on great taste, one of the most important criteria in any food or drink.”
South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Nomalungelo Gina said the plant represents a significant investment in the provincial economy and is expected to bring benefits, including more employment.
“The project is recognized as a key strategic investment in the KwaZulu Natal region and within the South African food industry and has been included as part of the South African presidential investment campaign to stimulate sustainable, equitable and inclusive growth as a basis for economic transformation of the country.
“We are thrilled with this investment as it aligns very well with our reinvented industrial strategy.”
Paul Hewitt, vice president of sub-Saharan Africa for the Kerry Group, said the plant would also help the group expand to the rest of Africa.
“South Africa is uniquely positioned to serve East, Central and West Africa and we look forward to working with food and beverage companies to create products that will be enjoyed across the continent,” he said.