Botswana is not likely to face milk shortages this year, an investor in the dairy industry has said.
In a statement released on yesterday the investment partners of Delta Dairies, VPB said that after the acute shortages of last year will not be experienced again. The private equity and venture capital firm said Delta Dairies opened the first UHT milk processing plant in Botswana three months ago. The company says it has captured about 10 percent of the local milk market. VPB said the milk products from Delta have been well-received in the country. “A strong awareness and business development strategy has been developed to establish a superior brand position and create loyalty. The campaign has begun rolling out,” said VPB marketing and investor associate Diphuka Osman. The Delta Diaries produces Delta Fresh UHT milk in its factory in Gaborone. VFB said negotiations between the promoters of Delta Dairies and the CEDA Venture Capital Fund began in earnest in 2005 following the completion of a feasibility study funded by the Centre for Development of Enterprise (CDE).
“The study revealed the existence of a considerable opportunity for import substitution of processed milk in Botswana. It further pointed to very good prospects for exporting products to neighbouring countries,” VPB said in its statement yesterday. The company said the visual brand has already been developed through the packaging and to date, there is overwhelming positive feedback about the taste of Delta Fresh long life milk.
“Other than that we are a 100 percent Botswana product, the taste of Delta Fresh milk appears to be our unique selling proposition and these will be the flagship traits on which we will build loyalty with the end consumer,” said John O’ Rahilly, Delta Dairies managing director.
Delta Fresh offers a range of milk products in line
“We want Batswana to know that local manufacturers can offer a product that is as good, if not better, than products coming from outside the country,” said O’Rahilly.
The packaging was developed by a local advertising agency, Native Impressions, over a two-year period. The resultant effect is a visual impression so striking that Tetrapak have entered the Delta Fresh packaging design into their annual international packaging design competition.
Before the establishment of Delta Dairies, there were no producers of UHT milk in Botswana; all existing dairy companies, which include international brands Clover and Parmalat were importing milk from South Africa.
Their product lines included milk related dairy products such as cheese and yoghurt. Over the past six years, Clover and Parmalat have imported 38.9 million litres of milk, which represents a 200 percent growth over the same period.
The opportunities for export are highlighted by the significant quantities of whole milk and milk powder imported by other African countries, most notably Mauritius, Senegal, Mauritania, Swaziland, Mozambique and Lesotho.
Clover, Parmalat and smaller South African brands such as Dewfresh and Montic have been on the local market for a number of years and hence they enjoy a certain level of customer loyalty. The companies have a strong relationship with local distribution companies ensuring superior product uptake by the trade.