Over the last three years Coca-Cola Sabco has been building its US130 million dollar bottling facility in Mozambique which launched over the weekend.
The bottling plant is the largest green-field facility for Coca-Cola Sabco in Africa.
“I’m absolutely so proud of what we have produced here in Mozambique, it has been a long five years to actually get to this position but we are and we have done it and we have produced something that is world class and nobody can ever take that away from us,” Simon Everest, MD, Coca-Cola, Sabco.
Everest says he realised the country’s potential about five-years ago when he started looking at the economy.
“I realised the huge potential but the first thing we needed to do was actually get capacity in so this is the first time in Mozambique that we actually have sufficient capacity to even think of satisfying the potential demand in this country.”
He adds: “There are many challenges here in Mozambique, we have challenges in terms of getting the right infrastructure in place, getting raw materials in to do the construction, getting skilled labour in to do the work on the plant but somehow we managed by hook or by crook.”
Coca-Cola is a drink best served cold and that was another concern in a country where, according to Everest, does not have electricity in all regions.
Everest says Coca Cola solved two issues through a need for cooling systems because of a lot of areas in Mozambique lack electricity.
“We set up women operating these Coleman boxes with ice, so it satisfied a business need and we have now 15 – 20 thousand of these boxes across Mozambique supported by women entrepreneurs,” said Everest.