Gaborone — Shoprite opened its first Freshmark District Centre in Botswana on Monday.
Speaking at the official opening of the centre, Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Ms Bogolo Kenewendo said she believed that the facility would improve Shoprite's operations in Botswana and also benefit consumers.
"I want to also state that we are not only talking about a state of the art facility, but also the major financial investment of P14 million on the factory, the warehouse space and trucks.
We expect to see about 35 jobs created and hundreds of indirect jobs that will be created by the producers that will benefit," she said.
Ms Kenewendo further said that there is a sense of pride that comes in knowing that products have been made in Botswana by Batswana and that there is some sort of patriotism in knowing that Batswana are able to feed themselves and those that occupy Botswana.
Shoprite Checkers general manager, Mr Clint Jackson said they were passionate about supporting and growing local producers through procurement, providing access to their distribution network, education and logistical support.
"We believe in playing a role in economic transformation of countries we operate in through job creation, skills transfer, career development and sourcing locally," he said.
Mr Jackson said Shoprite had indicated that it wanted to play its part in the development of SMMEs in Botswana.
He said it had said that it would commit to contract farming sourcing locally and even go a step further in ensuring that the designing and the packaging of the 'Made in Botswana' packages would also be made locally.
Source : BOPA