National Foods Holdings Limited

National Foods Limited, listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (NTFD.ZI), is a diversified conglomerate which has grown to become one of the largest manufacturers and marketers of food products in Zimbabwe and the Southern African Region.

Contact Details



National Foods Limited was birthed when two families, the Palte family and the Harris family started separate businesses, which eventually came together as one.

Joseph Palte started his company, J. Palte & Co, in 1908 in Bulawayo, where he traded as Miller and Merchants. When he died in 1934 his son, Jack, took over the business. He expanded it in 1952, when Tiger Oats became major shareholders.

Meanwhile in 1915, Mark Harris established Mark Harris Manufacturing in what was then Salisbury, using the trade name Atlas. In 1920 he sold his shares to the British South Africa Company (now Anglo American Corporation). The same year C. Harris & Co, which was later renamed Harris Brothers, was established in Bulawayo. At this time the brands Red Seal and Gloria were born.

In 1924 Mark Harris Manufacturing was renamed Rhodesian Milling and Manufacturing Company. In 1956 the Rhodesian Milling and Manufacturing Company purchased Harris Brothers. However, the Red Seal brand was taken over by Harris Maize Milling and Produce Company, a company founded the same year by three sons of C. Harris, the founder of Harris Brothers.

In 1964 Harris Maize Milling and Produce Company merged with J. Palte & Co. to form Palte Harris. In 1970 Palte Harris went public as Palte Harris Industrial Holdings. In 1975 the Rhodesian Milling and Manufacturing Company merged with Palte Harris to form National Foods, bringing together the Gloria and Red Seal brands. National Foods embodies 90 years of milling experience and encompasses the history of milling in Zimbabwe. When established in 1920, the company’s main focus was small-scale milling. Today, the company provides the resources, technology and manpower necessary to feed millions of people.

In addition to maize and flour milling, the company produces a wide range of food products, including stock-feed, snacks, treats, rice, peanut butter and oil - as well as providing services in logistics, properties and legal industries.

Its flagship brands, which include Gloria, Red Seal, NF Stockfeeds, Pearlenta, Mahatma, Rosetta, Snow White and Better Buy are easily recognisable on the Zimbabwean marketplaces with Gloria and Red Seal being trusted and esteemed products for over 60 years.

Organisation Structure

Owned by Innscor.



To be the preferred supplier of branded fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and stock feed products in sub-Saharan Africa.


  • Respect and dignity
  • Diversity
  • Openness and transparency
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Constructive engagement
  • Collaborative teamwork
  • Spirit of innovation
  • Stewardship
  • Simplicity, excellence and execution


National Foods is mentioned on p26 Cartel Power Dynamics in Zimbabwe under the Case Study 3 The Agriculture Cartels.

Innscor-owned National Foods and Blue Ribbon have been investigated by the police (Mushanawani, C. Calls to punish roller meal cartels soar. The Herald, 26 February 2020.) and have denied the charges of being involved in exporting subsidised maize. (Dube, Gibbs. Big Millers Allegedly Selling Subsidized Maize in DRC As Basic Commodity ‘Vanishes’ in Zimbabwe. VOA, 18 February 2020.)

Further Reading