MIDLANDS – Milk processor, Dendairy has embarked on an expansion drive as the company pursues a hundred percent increase in production by year end.
The expansion drive will see the construction of new processing lines, as well as the expansion and refurbishments of existing sterilising and pasteurising plants.
Construction of a new office block and expansion of cold and incubation rooms are also part of the expansion.
Speaking to journalists during a Kwekwe Press Club media tour of the plant on Thursday, the company’s Production Manager Mr Russell Tudhope said the company is aiming at increasing production capacity from the current 4,6 litters to about 8 million litres a month.
“We have gone on a massive expansion exercise that is aimed at doubling production by year end. The exercise have been ongoing for a while now and at one time we even shut down the plant to pave way for refurbishment and expansion work,” said Mr Tudhope.
He said the expansion work was in three phases with some already complete.
“The first phase was the steriliser which saw its capacity being increased to 12 000 litres per hour. That one is already complete and is already working. The second one also saw the increase in capacity of the pasteurising plant whose capacity was also increased to 10 000 litres per hour. Work on the two plants was completed in August and Septeber respectively and are already up and running,” he said.
The third phase of the refurbishment is still underway and will entail the rehabilitation of packaging lines.
“We are awaiting equipment that is coming from South Africa but I am sure, once we receive the equipment, work will be done by end of year,” he said.
Dendairy is also expected to reinforce its workforce as more hands will be needed to compliment the new machinery.
“We are looking forward to employ more people very soon once the expansion is done. An increase in machines also means an increase in workers to complement those machines,” he said.
The company currently employs over 100 people.
He said despite the current harsh economic conditions, the company has been doing well with their products constantly available on the market.
“Of course just like anybody else, we are faced by harsh economic conditions which are making it very difficult to operate. But as a company we have managed to sail through and our products remain the cheapest on the market,” said Mr Russell.
The company has also partnered small scale farmers and dairy farmers to capacitate them and ensure constant supply of milk.
The company has since broken into the regional market with their products now available on the Zambia, Malawi and South Africa markets