Dendairy is the second largest dairy producer in Zimbabwe which is now a major player in the manufacturing business in Kwekwe. Dendairy is the only dairy company in Zimbabwe that is able to produce UHT milk that has a shelf life of up to a year. Dendairy produces UHT milk, maas (fermented) milk, yogurt, ice cream and fruit juices. Dendairy have the only Tetra Pak Plant in Zimbabwe which packs boxed UHT long life milk that has a shelf life of one year.
Dendairy opened in 2004 processing sour milk sold mainly in Redcliff and Kwekwe, but has grown to supply long-life milk in Zimbabwe and has now moved to milk exports to Mozambique especially Tete province.
In 2013 Dendairy made an initial $6 million investment into its first Tetra Pak plant, which saw the company becoming the first dairy processor to introduce long life shelf milk on to the market. A year later, the company commissioned two Tetra Pak plants, which produce 100ml and 200ml milk sachets for long life shelf milk as the Kwekwe-based milk processor aimed at breaking into the hospitality sector where demand for milk packaged in small quantities is high.
Products and Markets
Dendairy invested heavily in its factory and grown its raw milk supply since its establishment in 2004. The company continued to experience exceptional market penetration and growth within the Zimbabwean market, and has expanded its footprint to include Mozambique and Zambia. Dendairy produces Maas (fermented milk), UHT Milk, UHT Flavored Milk, Yoghurts, Ice Cream, and Fruit Juices.
Dendairy started from humble beginnings in 2004 when two dairy farmers setup a small Maas processing plant in Kwekwe. The product range has expanded over the years to include Ice Cream, Long life Tetra-pak boxes, Sacheted milk, Fruit Juices, Yogurt and commercial ingredients. Dendairy became the number 1 or 2 player in each product category within 18 months of launching a new product. Dendairy has grown top line earnings at a rate >30% per year compounded for the last 6 years. Dendairy is in a strong position to benefit from increased dairy consumption per capita in Zimbabwe.
Lucerne Grass Project
The government gazetted Statutory Instrument 50 of 2021 to evict more than 1000 Chiredzi East and South families to pave way for Lucerne project. Dendairy is targeting about 10 000 hectares for the project of Lucerne grass used for grazing, hay, green manure and silage.
Refurbishing Kaguvi Vocational Training Centre
The dairy processor refurbished Kaguvi Vocational Training Centre in 2017 with a view of training dairy farmers in the Midlands Province. The company's Managing Director, Darren Coetzee said the move would go a long way in boosting milk production in the country.
“We are refurbishing and rebuilding Kaguvi Vocational Training Center so that we establish a dairy center there. We want to train new dairy farmers so that in the near future we grow the dairy industry,” he said. There had been a steady growth in the dairy industry with milk production jumping from 35 million litres per year in 2010 to 70 million litres in 2016.
Commissioning of the Tetra Pak plant
Dendairy said they have the capacity to process between four to six million litres of milk per month, which was about 70 percent of the country’s dairy requirements. They said this following the commissioning of a $3.5 million Tetra Pak plant, a packaging machine for aseptic production of dairy products in 2016.
The Tetra Pak plant packages germ-free products such as long life shelf milk and 100 percent fruit juices in a disinfected container in a way that maintains sterility. However, Mr Coetzee said shortage of foreign currency resulted in the company failing to access packaging materials for its Tetra Pak products, which is imported from Europe.
“We are failing to get adequate funding from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for the procurement of our materials. We are only getting a third of the funding, which we are supposed to have for our needs, which totals about $1.5 million. This puts us in a tight corner as it is very difficult to explain to our suppliers the challenges we are facing,” added Mr Coetzee.
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