Centurion, 2 July 2018– Philafrica Foods, one of the largest food processing companies in South Africa, has announced its acquisition of a majority shareholding in Pakworks, following approval by the Competition Tribunal.
Pakworks currently manufactures snacks under the popular Niknaks and Simba brand names for PepsiCo on a national level, with its manufacturing facility based in Heilbron in the Free State. It employs 609 people. A new production line that will manufacture snacks for the Simba brand is set be operational soon.

According to Roland Decorvet, the CEO of Philafrica, the acquisition will allow Philafrica to partner with one of its important Milling customers. “Pakworks is a key client of our yellow maize Milling Business; through diversifying the business model, by moving down the supply chain, we will drive additional value. We welcome the Pakworks team to Philafrica Foods and look forward to a long and profitable partnership.”

This transaction marks an additional investment for Philafrica, following the announcement in October last year that it had entered into a 50/50 joint venture with Novos Horizontes, an integrated chicken producer located in northern Mozambique, and its acquisition of a majority stake in The Dutch Agricultural Development & Trading Company’s (DADTCO) cassava processing activities. DADTCO has pioneered an innovative mobile cassava processing technology that is having a major positive impact on Africa’s smallholder farmers.

Decorvet added that the company continues to actively seek investment opportunities on the continent, which forms part of Philafrica Foods’ planned investment of between R1 billion and R1.5 billion over the next 18-24 months in Africa.

Philafrica Foods is supported by the AFGRI Group, an investment holding company focused on food and agriculture with an underlying ethos as an enabler of food security in line with the Philafrica vision.

Centurion, 31 October 2017 – Philafrica Foods, one of the largest food processing companies in South Africa, has announced its acquisition of a majority stake in The Dutch Agricultural Development & Trading Company’s (DADTCO) cassava processing activities. DADTCO has pioneered an innovative mobile cassava processing technology that is having a major positive impact on Africa’s smallholder farmers.

 

With existing operations in Mozambique and advanced projects in West Africa, Philafrica Foods is looking to leverage DADTCO’s technology and its management team’s extensive experience to scale cassava processing in sub-Saharan Africa (“SSA”).

 

“Philafrica’s vision is to transform the lives of millions of African smallholder farmers by creating market demand by means of large-scale food processing. DADTCO’s vision to unleash the potential of cassava throughout Africa, the technical expertise of its management team, and innovative mobile processing technology, align perfectly with our vision and values,” said Roland Decorvet, CEO of Philafrica Foods.

 

Cassava is a root crop grown in tropical climates – in Africa it is the second largest source of carbohydrates after maize. “Currently eight of the top 10 producers globally are in SSA, with a total of 145 million MTs – 54% of global production – produced annually in Africa.”

 

There are many advantages to cassava, amongst these being that it needs less water to grow than maize and rice, making it an attractive crop for smallholder farmers, and it can remain underground for more than two years after maturity, reducing the need for large storage facilities.

 

Dadtco developed an entirely new product called Cassava Starch Flour® which is a perfect substitute for wheat flour but also corn-starch in the food processing, baking and beverage industries, which are poised to grow as the African middle class increases. It also offers a non-gluten and grain-free alternative to traditional products usually containing wheat, thus catering to an increasingly health-conscious population.

“We see massive opportunity in cassava as currently less than 5% of total production in Africa is industrially processed at scale,” said Decorvet.

 

While the financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, Decorvet said that the company will actively pursue close collaboration with donors to make the mobile cassava processing technology available to as many smallholder farmers in SSA as possible.

 

Philafrica Foods is supported by the AFGRI Group, an investment holding company focused on food and agriculture with an underlying ethos as an enabler of food security in line with the Philafrica vision.

 

Centurion, 16 October 2017 – Philafrica Foods (Pty) Ltd (“Philafrica Foods”), part of AFGRI Group Holdings, and one of the largest food processing companies in South Africa, has entered into a 50/50 joint venture with Novos Horizontes (“New Horizons”), an integrated chicken producer located in northern Mozambique. This forms part of Philafrica Foods’ planned investment of between R1 billion and R1.5 billion over the next 18-24 months in Africa.

 

With a focus on investing in food categories across Africa, and on locally-sourced raw materials, Philafrica is actively seeking investment opportunities on the continent, with Novos Horizontes being the first of many.

 

Novos Horizontes was founded in 2005 with a core vision of unlocking the potential – both in terms of labour and land – in Mozambique by supporting smallholder farmers in agribusiness. The joint venture with Philafrica Foods will allow the company to continue its expansion in that country.

 

“We saw in Novos Horizontes a trusted partner, a profitable business, and importantly, having the same values as us in terms of transforming the lives of smallholder farmers. Moreover, our expertise in rendering, feed mixing and poultry will drive substantial synergies as the company expands in Mozambique,” said Roland Decorvet, CEO of Philafrica Foods.

 

Decorvet adds that currently 60-70% of the poultry consumed in Mozambique is imported, and thus there is massive opportunity. “We there see immense potential to replace imported products with local production and are pleased to have found a strong operating partner in Mozambique with decades of experience in the poultry value chain.”

 

Andrew Cunningham, Executive Chairman of Novos Horizontes, stated: “We are excited by the potential of this investment and partnership to enhance our vision to unlock potential in Mozambique. We aim to be the premier poultry producer in the country and to expand into other value chains where agro-industrial processing and building brands can pull production from smallholder farmers.”

In addressing potential concerns pertaining to the current outbreak of avian flu, Decorvet said that while there have fortunately been no reported cases in Mozambique to date, the company is actively developing contingency and risk management plans.

 

Philafrica Foods is supported by the AFGRI Group, an investment holding company focused on food and agriculture with an underlying ethos as an enabler of food security in line with the Philafrica vision.

Food security a global concern – Africa well-positioned to provide the answer

 

Johannesburg, 10 October 2017 – Newly-established Philafrica Food (Pty) Ltd (“Philafrica Foods”) – part of AFGRI Group Holdings, a leading investment holding company focused on food and agriculture – has plans to change the face of food processing both locally and across sub-Saharan Africa.

 

With a focus on investing in food categories across Africa, and on locally-sourced raw materials, the company is already actively seeking investment opportunities on the continent. This will include building greenfield production sites and making strategic acquisitions in South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe, amongst others.

 

“We believe there is an incredible opportunity given the robust and growing demand from African consumers and global markets, and Africa’s huge potential of uncultivated arable land. The continent is well-positioned to fulfil this demand,” says Philafrica’s CEO, Roland Decorvet, a seasoned expert in the food processing sector in Africa, Europe and the Far East.

 

Decorvet cites several examples of why Africa can play a pivotal role in providing food for the burgeoning world population. “Sub-Saharan Africa boasts millions and millions of hectares of high-potential agricultural land, and yet less than 10% is under cultivation. What’s more is that this continent offers 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land.”

 

Not only could the continent support global food demands, but should also be able to provide for its own people, which is becoming a priority. “Demand for food in Africa is rising – sub-Saharan African’s food and beverage market is set to triple by 2030, reaching US$1 trillion, with the middle class projected to rise from 123 million to over 1 billion by 2060, making it the fastest growing middle class in the world.”

 

With food production already under pressure – the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that food production must increase by at least 60% to respond to the demands of the nine billion people that are expected to inhabit the planet by 2050 – it is crucial to look for viable solutions, Decorvet believes.

 

“Our goal is to become a key food operator across Africa in the next 25 years, supporting the transformation of the continent from one of subsistence agriculture to one that is food secure and a net exporter.”

Decorvet explains that farmers in Africa face many constraints that keep production yields low, and as a result large multinationals can’t get the raw materials they need for processing locally. “Our role is to change this – we believe that the most effective way to transform agriculture in Africa is to create market pull through large-scale food processing. To do this, we believe it’s critical to support each stage of the value chain and care for all stakeholders.”

 

For Philafrica Food this means vertical integration straight back to the farm gate; working closely with smallholder farmers on crop variety improvement and technical assistance; staying current on global commodity markets to ensure leading procurement practices; implementing best-in-class manufacturing practices and adapting the business model based on how the local market operates.

 

“We will leverage our South African based expertise and capabilities to expand here in South Africa as well as into new countries across sub-Saharan Africa. We are prioritising opportunities where we can substitute imported products with locally grown or processed products.”

 

Decorvet adds that the company’s expansion strategy is to invest in various crop categories, in countries where it sees long-term growth potential, which will also positively impact on the livelihood of smallholder farmers. As mentioned, this includes South Africa, where opportunities have been identified in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.

 

“When conducting business here and in the rest of the continent, we primarily look to source locally produced raw materials that can effectively replace imported raw materials and products. We strategically support each stage of the agricultural supply chain to ensure consistent quality supply of raw materials into our production sites — which means we look to engage both commercial and smallholder farmers across any new food category or country we enter.”

 

To support its expansion plans, Philafrica Foods will look to form partnerships on the supply-side and develop off-take relationships with those who share its vision for the transformation of African agriculture. “This includes partners within the food industry that want to secure processed raw material support that strengthens existing procurement processes or are looking to venture into new African markets with a trusted partner, as well as within the agricultural and donor communities on the supply-side of our new projects, who share our passion for strengthening smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa to become food secure and net exporters.”

 

Philafrica will further be supported by AFGRI Group, an investment holding company focused on food and agriculture with an underlying ethos as an enabler of food security in line with the Philafrica vision.

 

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Notes for editors:

 

About Philafrica Foods

Philafrica Foods is one of the largest food processing company in South Africa where its owns and operates 12 manufacturing plants. These include maize mills; wheat mills; an oilseed-crushing, extraction, and refining plant; and animal feed manufacturing plants. It is actively investing in new markets by building greenfield production sites and partnering with existing food processing businesses in sub-Saharan Africa. Philafrica Foods is owned by AFGRI Group Holdings, an investment holding company with interests in agricultural products and services.