Irish food company, The Kerry Group has opened a new €38 million (R650 million) plant in KwaZulu-Natal aimed at producing sustainable food for the continent.
Located in Hammarsdale, KwaZulu-Natal, the new 10,000 sqm facility is one of the company’s most environmentally-efficient manufacturing sites with numerous sustainability features including low energy usage equipment, solar power generation to reduce consumption from the local grid, waste heat capture, and efficient water capture, reuse and reduction.
The group, which has had a presence in South Africa since 2011, produces a number of food products including frozen meals, hot and cold pies, processed meats, and dairy spreads. Notable brands include Dairygold, Denny and Richmond.
“The opening of the facility in Hammarsdale is a significant step forward in helping to realise our vision of creating a world of sustainable nutrition,” said chief executive Edmond Scanlon.
“For 50 years, Kerry has focused on meeting local consumer needs grounded in great taste – one of the most important criteria in any food or beverage.”
South Africa’s deputy minister of trade, industry and competition Nomalungelo Gina said the plant is a significant investment in the provincial economy and is expected to bring benefits – including more employment.
“The project is recognised as a key strategic investment in the region of KwaZulu Natal and within South Africa’s food manufacturing industry and has been included as part of the South African Presidential investment drive to stimulate sustainable, equitable and inclusive growth as the foundation for socio-economic transformation in the country.
“We are excited about this investment because it aligns very well with our re-imagined industrial strategy.”
Paul Hewitt, vice president of Sub Saharan Africa for the Kerry Group, said the plant would also help the group expand into the rest of Africa.
“South Africa is in a unique position to service East, Central as well as 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.