Ahadu Plc. inaugurated its new food factory located in Bishoftu Industry Zone and that is built at a cost of USD 36 million. Ahadukes Food Products S.C, which is a joint venture between UK-based investment firm Vasari and a local company Ahadu PLC, was officially inaugurated in the presence of President Dr. Mulatu Teshome and other government officials on Tuesday, May 5.
In the first phase, Ahadukes will produce biscuits. On the next phases, the factory will see expansion of the facility to take up the production of pasta and other flour-based foods for the growing local consumer market. The factory will also explore export opportunities. By 2018, when the factory starts operating in full capacity, its total investment will reach USD 100 million.
Speaking at the inauguration, President Mulatu states that food processing factories create valuable linkages between agriculture and industry, which is a critical contribution to the structural changes and transformation of the national economy.
“It is encouraging to learn that this project has already consumed USD 36 million and is mainly executed by a local company, Ahadu PLC. Having such a visionary local company is vital to the country as it will be exemplary in inspiring many others and attracting them to the sector. The company’s move to partner with Vasari Global, a UK-based major investment group, is also a wise move that will help in closing gaps and accelerating growth,” the president said.
Vasari Global Chairman Vivian Imerman stated that the factory is a major milestone in Vasari’s long-term strategy to develop a strong, diversified consumer brands company in Africa.
“We are delivering quality products and introducing world class new brands into the market to capture the incredible market opportunity here. Our priority is providing locally produced, well-packaged and affordably priced food products designed to appeal to local consumer tastes. We are working with an experienced and respected local partner and have been extremely encouraged by the support of the government,” Imerman said.
The factory currently has 619 employees and that is expected to reach 3,000 after three years. The company also plans to get 50 percent of its revenue from export by 2017.