Leading Zimbabwean food processing company, Associated Foods Zimbabwe (AFZ), has received an undisclosed amount of equity investment from Spear Capital which the local company says is enough to increase capacity utilisation to 75 percent from 35 percent.

AFZ, is the producer of the Mama’s and Farmgold product lines including peanut butter, jams, snacks, cereals, baked beans and canned products. The investment from Spear Capital, a private equity firm, will be channelled towards improving AFZ’s operations and environmental impact. This transaction with Spear Capital signifies our intention to continue to grow the business and offer improved products to our customers. The new investment will boost our footprint in the region.

“This partnership with Spear Capital firmly places AFZ on an accelerated growth path, allowing it to further build its presence in Zimbabwe and create a strong footing to expand into the region, said Mercy Kunaka, AFZ marketing and sales executive.

AFZ will also channel part of the investment towards increasing its support to local smallholder farmers through an out-grower scheme.

“Currently we are working with 1 100 self-funding farmers on both groundnuts and tomatoes and after the Spear Capital injection, we are expecting to increase the number to 2 500 farmers on both crops. As a way of empowering women, 60 percent of the farmers are women,” said Joseph Mavu, AFZ Operations Executive.

Commenting on the transaction, Nyaradzo Nyimo, Principal at Spear Capital said AFZ is a company that partners with some of the largest food suppliers in Zimbabwe and therefore provides a secure entry into a high growth market in Zimbabwe.

“Expanding our already successful portfolio of businesses in the food processing market, we are confident that this will bring more opportunity to supply goods to more consumers and take advantage of the lucrative market the region has to offer,” said Nyimo.

Under Mama’s brand AFZ has a portfolio of products that includes peanut butter, mixed fruit jam, sweet orange marmalade, cornflakes, popsnacks, puffed kurls, while under the Farmgold brand the company produces tomato puree, among other products.

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