|Local bakers seek partners|
|Friday, 13 July 2012 18:42|
The baking industry, which is currently plagued by high utility costs and lack of working capital, is actively seeking technical partners who can inject capital to boost production, a top industry official has said.
“The sector is working on accessing funding meant for distressed companies. Others (bakeries) have started looking into options of technical partners who can inject capital.
“If the situation remains dire as it is, one cannot rule out the possibility of big fish swallowing the small fish. It is clear that a few others will go under as well,” said Mr Moyo.
Power outages and water cuts have also conspired to affect production in the baking sector.
“Generators require service and maintenance and are running on fuel, which is an additional cost. This affects viability of businesses. Power and water charges have rendered operations unviable.
“For as long as the current situation continues, the industry viability will remain threatened; jobs will continue to be threatened. We are hoping that lines of credit will be opened to allow bakers to recapitalise their businesses.”
In addition to water and power shortages, there has also been increased pressure, especially from raw material, rental and labour costs.
“The majority of our members are operating from rented premises (and) rental costs have continued to skyrocket.
“The industry is not clear yet on the accessibility of Distressed Industries and Marginalised Areas Fund (Dimaf). We look forward to the fiscal review and national budget for policies that stimulate growth in the general economy to improve consumption of our products.