Tuesday, December 18, 2012

(SUNDAY MAIL ZW) Farmers to sell fresh produce to Pick n Pay SA

Farmers to sell fresh produce to Pick n Pay SA
Sunday, 16 December 2012 00:00
Hillary Munedzi

South Africa’s retail giant Pick n Pay, which recently acquired 49 percent interest in Zimbabwe’s TM supermarkets, said it is now providing a ready market for Zimbabwean farmers to sell fresh produce to Pick n Pay supermarkets in South Africa.

The remarks come at a time when Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa recently accused the retail giant of deliberately sabotaging the country’s agricultural sector by continuing to import fresh produce from South Africa and stocking its shelves with their finished products.

Mr Chinamasa said that sectors covering the wholesale, retail, distribution and fuel importation sector must be reserved for local investors.

He added that participation of foreign-owned entities in the domestic market will not add value to the economy, which is suffering from a ballooning import bill.

Speaking on the sidelines of the official opening of the Pick ‘n Pay supermarket at Westgate Shopping centre in Harare last week, managing director of TM Super Markets Mr Dave Mills said Pick n Pay will support the growth of the agricultural sector by selling local farm produce to South African supermarkets.

“The fruits and chickens are not exported from anywhere; they are 100 percent local and we will be selling fruits from Zimbabwe to South Africa Pick n Pay Supermarkets.

“We have already sold lychees to our Pick n Pay super markets in South Africa through the Kamfinsa supermarket and more Zimbabwean products could get into South African markets through this initiative,” said Mr Mills.

He also noted that a number of Pick n Pay branches will be opened, many of them at sites where TM supermarkets has been operating.

“The dual branding of TM supermarkets and Pick n Pay will go a long way in our market expansion initiative and it will add value to our products since TM supermarkets is a trusted brand,” he said.

He added that the supermarket will open other branches in Gweru, Masvingo and Bulawayo in the coming months. According to a Consumer Council of Zimbabwe survey report released recently, 85 percent of locally consumed goods were imported from neighbouring countries and this has remained unchanged over the past three years.

The value of trade between South Africa and Zimbabwe reached R19,2 billion last year.

South Africa, the biggest economy in Africa, is arguably the largest exporter to Zimbabwe, and many companies from that neighbouring country are currently operating in this country.

However, Zimbabwe has also stepped up trade relations with China.

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