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AFZ supports agric revival

ASSOCIATED Foods of Zimbabwe (AFZ) says it is committed to the revival of the country’s agriculture sector after it invested over US$1,5 million in a new state-of-the-art equipment to produce cannned beans.
The Vumba-based firm specialises in the processing, packaging and distribution of a variety of leading food products including natural fruit jams and marmalades and peanut butter.
Simba Nyabadza, AFZ’s chief executive, said the company carried out extensive research and has capacitated itself with a modern production plant to supply the market with canned beans.
“Our brand is known for quality and consistency in supply. Mama’s baked beans will ride on this. We believe that economies of scale will maintain competitive pricing while delivering a safe, quality product to the market,” he said.
AFZ director Rob Harden Tebb, who boasts of over 50 years’ experience in food manufacturing gained in Europe and Zimbabwe, is supervising production to ensure that it meets international standards.
The production team also includes operations manager, Joseph Mavu, who has 25 years of experience with leading Zimbabwean food manufacturers.
“We are very excited with the introduction of the baked beans silo – which is now more than a breakfast meal.
This just reaffirms that our Mama’s Brand is growing from strength to strength,” AFZ executive Mercy Kunaka said.
The US$1,5 million injection comes a few months after AFZ injected US$2 million in a modern pea nut butter plant, cementing the company as one of the fastest growing food producers in the country.
It also comes soon after the company implemented ISO 22000 Food Safety Management System which ensures conformity of its products to international standards and provides assurance for product quality.
The certification confirms that AFZ conforms to international standards and opens doors for export.
With Mama’s Baked Beans, the food processor is exploiting an opportunity in the Michigan pea bean market and has already introduced a support scheme to ensure consistent supply of the white bean while empowering about 500 rural households.
The pea bean support scheme will feed into the tomato facility in the Middle Sabi, Norton, Mutoko, Rusape. More than 500 households are under the support scheme.