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BIG BEND - The concept of sustainable growth can be helpful for planning corporate growth as it forces managers to consider the financial consequences of sales increases.

The Eswatini Sugar Association (ESA) aims to diversify into new sugar markets in some parts of Africa and abroad, to maximise their efficiency. ESA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Phil Mnisi, said one of the four strategic objectives in ESA’s Corporate Strategy and Marketing Plan 2021-2026, is to focus on the diversification across new markets, products and the supply chain. He said the multimillion investment towards the warehouse facility was critical in achieving one of the initiatives that feed into the objective of diversifying into new markets.


He said their main markets have been the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) market, to which more than half of their sugar is sold, followed by sugar to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, the European Union (EU) and the United States. “There are numerous growing opportunities in the wider African region, especially East Africa, and this market requires the sugar to be delivered bagged in 50kg bags,” he said. Mnisi added that with the growing demand from the region, ESA was constrained in their ability to service these markets given the limited bagging capacity. He said they then found themselves having to sell the sugar at less remunerative markets due to this limitation. “It was in recognition of the opportunities in these regional markets that necessitated this strategic investment,” said the CEO.

He further mentioned that the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic presented its own dynamics to each one of them and changed the way they went about their daily lives. ESA said the newly opened sugar bagging and warehouse facility aimed to enhance systematic and synchronised workflow. This was mentioned by ESA’s President Stuart Geldenhuys on Friday during the official opening of ESA bagging and  warehouse facility at Ubombo Mill in Big Bend. The president said it became evident that with the changing global trends and volatile markets, they needed to rethink their approach to ensure sustainable growth for sugar and the industry.


He said this could be attained through diverting bulk raw sales to the world market and directs them to regional markets by producing direct consumption sugar that could be bagged as per specifications required by these markets. Geldenhuys said this would not be possible with the existing bagging capacity, as it was insufficient to handle future increases production and the bagging and storage requirements. “The new facility therefore comes with additional 50kg and one metric tonne bagging capacity and storage, and additional storage for 20 300 tonnes of sugar. The facility has the capacity to bag 50 metric tonnes of sugar per hour,” he said. He added that they have also made a provision for future increase in the bagging capacity and also to bag 25kg. The president said the new low glycaemic index (GI) brown sugar is bagged at this new facility, as it is currently being produced at the Ubombo Mill.

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