The Observer (Kampala)

Uganda: Fresh Cuts Widens Its Regional Presence

Fresh Cuts Uganda, a meat processing company, has started spreading its wings to other East African regions.

Early December, Fresh Cuts entered Rwanda, while Tanzania is next in line in the first quarter of 2013.

"We want to position ourselves as a premium meat brand in the region. Starting this month [December], our products will be available in Nakumatt outlets in Rwanda," says Fresh Cuts' Uganda's Managing Director, Stephan Duyck.

Duyck says they are also targeting South Sudan, although he adds that penetration the country that ceded from Khartoum more than a year ago has been a bit difficult. Suspicion about Ugandan traders in South Sudan remains high. By entering regional markets, Duyck explains, Fresh Cuts is implementing the Ireland Blyth Limited partnership plan, which they signed in July this year.

"The company [IBL] helps us in strengthening our human resource. It has already started a brand building campaign, and of course they have started to open for us doors to export finished products to Mauritius," Duyck pointed out. "IBL will do anything to make sure Fresh Cuts grow," he says.

Challenges:

IBL is one of the largest business groups in Mauritius. The IBL group operates in five main sectors of retail, financial services, seafood, and marine, logistics and engineering and commerce. In the last five years, Fresh Cuts has invested between $1.5m and $2.5m in Uganda, according to company officials.

The company's investments are to shoot up as it expands to other countries. "I can't exactly say how much we will invest in Rwanda and Tanzania, but we will provide whatever is needed for successful operations there."

Not all is well. Fresh Cuts faces limited supplies of animals like goats, cows and chicken from local farmers. "Every day we shout here that farmers should give us as many animals and birds [chicken] as they can, but we hardly get these supplies," said Duyck.

"If a farmer can raise 50 quality birds, you are welcome to be our supplier. The factory demands about 2,000 birds a day in Uganda alone. This means we will need more supplies to meet the market demand in the region.

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