Local firm, Arona Natural Foods, has launched a cooking oil brand aimed at the local and international market. The company produces cold pressed virgin sunflower oil and sunflower by-products like sunflower cakes (both crushed and non-crushed) for livestock and poultry feeding.
Speaking at the product launch last week, Arona Natural Foods managing director, Fannie Gwizi, said the company was pursuing potential buyers outside Botswana such as Namibia and Zambia. “We have approached several large chain stores such as Woolworths and Spar. Very soon the product will be on the shelves,” he said.
He added that were they are also keen to penetrate the export market. Gwizi further noted that the Arona Cold Press Sunflower Cooking Oil had fulfilled the requirements for the use of the South African Heart and stroke foundation requirements, an internationally recognised symbol, which meant that the product was healthy, especially suitable for people with heart conditions. He added that Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) had also certified the product.
Gwizi said they had invested five million Pula into this project and it is currently producing 34,000 litres per month of cooking oil using locally grown sunflower. “The project has also created 18 jobs with a potential to employ 34 people at full capacity while production will be 90,000 per month,” he said.
Officially launching the product, Assistant Minister of
“Government is committed to ensuring that there is a conducive business environment to foster greater economic activity, through changes to legislation and national investment framework for private sector development, growth and sustainability,” he added.
Kebonang encouraged the company to continually pursue strong linkages with other enterprises that can assist in maintaining its image and meeting its regular demands. “When the product penetrates the EU market, it will be an achievement for my ministry as our vision is to increase the number of products exported to Europe under the newly concluded Economic Partnership Agreement,” he said. He added that the quality of Arona Cold Pressed Virgin Sunflower oil was confirmation of Botswana’s ability to make produce that could compete with international brands.