Business goes sour for MOHA as sugar supply is cut


Following a total cut of sugar supply from the Sugar Corporation, MOHA, which holds a big share of the Ethiopian soft drink industry market, stopped production as of September 8. The supply cut has also dramatically affected the production of other candy, juice and biscuit factories.
Getachew Birbo, CEO, of MOHA soft drinks Industry S.C. told Capital that the company has stopped producing Pepsi Cola, Mirinda Orange, 7-Up and Mirinda Tonic and mandated that 80 percent of their workers take annual leave. Currently they are only producing bottled water. moha-2
“We have 4,000 workers at MOHA and we sent 3,200 of them to take annual leave both in the production and sales department because without sugar there is nothing for us to do.”
The company that is owned by Sheikh Mohammed Hussen Alamudi previously received 30,000 quintals of sugar per month. MOHA’s factories are located in Addis Ababa, Gonder, Mekle, Hawassa and Dessie.
“We appealed to the corporation to get sugar and they are telling us that it is being imported from abroad,’’ he said.
According to Getachew the company is asking the government to obtain foreign currency so they would be able to import sugar on their own.
“We have lost a huge amount of money,” he said.
Staff from Sugar Corporation told Capital that the 36,000 metric tons of sugar is on ships and will reach the country on October 15 at which point the supply will resume. Capital attempted to reach the East Africa Bottling Share Company which produces Coca-Cola, Fanta (Orange, Pineapple & Strawberry), Sprite, Schweppes Tonic and Coke Light to see how they were impacted but was unsuccessful.
MOHA soft drinks Industry S.C was established on May 15, 1996 acquiring Nifas Silk Plant, Tekle Haimanot Plant, Gondar Plant, and Dessie Plant from the Ethiopian Privatization Agency with a paid capital of 108.65 million birr. The Company currently has seven operating units including Summit Plant, Bure Plant, and the recently inaugurated Hawassa Plant in the Southern Nations & Nationalities People’s Region. Currently over 200 companies in Ethiopia use sugar for production.