The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Ugandan Meat-Processing Firm Eyes Local Market

A Ugandan meat processing firm, Fresh Cuts Uganda, is seeking to open operations in the country.

According to the firm's managing director, Stephan Duyck, the company has already sent its first consignment to the country with optimism that its products would be appreciated locally.

"We are entering Rwanda with a view of processing and having our own butcher operations and we are convinced that we shall work well there," he said in an interview with Business Times.

"The Company's main idea is to see Quality Cuts butcheries established in Rwanda because in July this year, we joined a company from Mauritius - IBL - and the vision of the two of us is to become a regional player," Duyck stated.

The Ireland Blythe Limited (IBL) Group is a Mauritius conglomerate that deals in meat processing.

"We hope that our products will be appreciated there because they are of high quality," he added.

Fresh Cuts entry point to Rwanda is through the Nakumatt Supermarkets.

Some of its products include vacuum packaged, frozen and boxed meat, minced meat, and sausages, among other products. The company operates under two core brands, "Fresh Cuts" and "Quality Cuts". All pre-packed vacuum sealed meats carry the Fresh Cuts brand and are distributed throughout supermarkets in Uganda.

Duyck explained that quality standards are stringently enforced all the way through the value chain; from the reception of carcasses to meat storage, processing and delivery.

"Our products are quite competitive with the Kenyan products; if we aren't higher then, we at the same level with the products from Kenya," he noted.

Fresh Cuts is fully fitted with thermo-forming packing machinery no wonder it is the first meat processing company / butchery in Uganda that has successfully acquired an ISO certification 22000: 2005.

The company commenced operations by taking over Meat Processors Limited, a company operating a meat processing plant and a restaurant along Gabba Road, Kampala, taking on the core business of processing, packing and selling meat.

In May 2005, Fresh Cuts purchased a meat processing plant in Seguku, expanding it into the modern factory.

With 65 percent of the company's market in Uganda, the remaining 35 percent is exported to the region with the bulk consumed by the United Nations troops in DR Congo and Sudan.

The company has invested in a state of the art packing machine which according to its management, will revolutionise the way of packing meat products in Uganda and allow Fresh Cuts to become a market leader in the region for prepacked retail meats.

The company engages in both retail and wholesale business with new product development and value addition.

Located on the outskirts of Kampala, the factory location is ideal for its operations; which involves large volumes of meat processing.

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