National Foods

Mill - Bake



Michael Lashbrook


10 Stirling Rd


+263 242 781 182-91
+263 242 753 751 -9
+263 242 753 741- 5



Our History

National Foods has a long history stretching back to the early part of the last century, when two families, the Palte family and the Harris family, started separate businesses, which eventually came together as one. Joseph Palte started his company, J. Palte & Co in 1908 in Bulawayo, where he traded as Miller and Merchants. When he died in 1934, his son, Jack, took over the business. He expanded it and in 1952, Tiger Oats became major shareholders.

Meanwhile in 1915 Mark Harris established Mark Harris Manufacturing in what was then Salisbury, using the trade name Atlas. In 1920 he sold his shares to the British South Africa Company (now Anglo American Corporation). In the same year C. Harris & Co., which was later renamed Harris Brothers, was established in Bulawayo. It was then that the brand name Red Seal was born. The Gloria brand name was also launched at this time.

In 1924 Mark Harris Manufacturing was renamed Rhodesian Milling and Manufacturing Company. In 1956 the Rhodesian Milling and Manufacturing Company purchased Harris Brothers. However, the Red Seal brand was taken over by Harris Maize Milling and Produce Company, a company founded the same year by three sons of C. Harris, the founder of Harris Brothers. In 1964 Harris Maize Milling and Produce Company merged with J. Palte & Co. to form Palte Harris. In 1970 Palte Harris went public as Palte Harris Industrial Holdings. In 1975 the Rhodesian Milling and Manufacturing Company merged with Palte Harris to form National Foods, bringing together the Gloria and Red Seal Brands.

National Foods has grown to become one of the largest manufacturers and marketers of food products in Zimbabwe and the Southern African region. Innscor acquired shareholding in National Foods in 2003 and today holds a 37.82% share with Tiger Brands holding a 37.45% share.

Sustainability In Our Business

During 2018, National Foods made a strategic decision to adopt sustainability reporting to provide a broader picture of the business to its stakeholders. The strategy follows the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards which require the Group to identify, measure and disclose to its internal and external stakeholders, the economic, environmental and social impacts and opportunities arising from its business activities. The strategy will transform the way the Group has been engaging and communicating with its stakeholders.

The sustainability strategy will optimise and focus sustainable decisions across the Group and transform the Group’s business model. It is the Group’s intention to create value in the community and to operate in a sustainable manner in response to climate change and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) imperatives.

Stakeholders and Relationships

The Group believes that sustainable relationships are critical for long term value creation and business success. Our stakeholders play a significant role in the value chain of the Group and as such are considered as a significant part of our business model. Our stakeholders and the relationships we have built over decades continue to inform how we manage corporate risk, enterprise risk and business development risk. The Group continues to build sustainable relations with stakeholders and business partners to ensure enduring success and competitiveness in the market. The Group continues to enhance shared values with stakeholders and business partners in a spirit of inclusivity and responsiveness to foster strong relational capital and trust for the Group.

Corporate Social Responsibility

The Group supports and assists vulnerable groups and the disadvantaged among our stakeholders and the greater community through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Program. Our CSR objective is to invest in the communities where we operate by enhancing lives, improving well-being, and building lasting emotional capital. NFL engages in proactive initiatives which have a positive impact to the socio-economic well-being of communities and through activities geared towards the preservation and long term sustainability of the environment. The Group is also involved in various livestock and wildlife initiatives around the country.


Red Seal is Zimbabwe’s most loved and recognised food brand. It is one of the country’s top ten Superbrands and cuts across eleven categories and, indeed, is ‘A Part of Every Meal.’ The Red Seal conveys a guarantee of quality, and, the rosette is the most well-known embodiment of success in Zimbabwe. Red Seal was first used in 1925. It was a brand developed by the Harris Brothers, who at the time were based in Bulawayo. This is why the brand has an affinity with our Southern Region consumers, particularly. In 1969 when Palte Harris and, the then, Rhodesia Milling merged to form National Foods, Red Seal became the most well-known brand in its stable and has grown from strength to strength.


Gloria flour was launched in 1920 and has become Zimbabwe’s most revered flour brand. Gloria Self-Raising Flour, in its distinctive blue and gold packaging, is the country’s best-selling prepacked flour. Our other variants – Gloria Self Raising Cake Flour, Gloria Cake Flour, Gloria All-Purpose Flour, and Gloria High Fibre are growing in popularity. Bakeries throughout the country use Gloria Super White Bread Flour, Gloria Standard Flour, Gloria Cake Flour, and Gloria Biscuit Flour in the production of bread and confectionery. Gloria is the Bakers choice, Trusted since 1920.


Mahatma was established in the 1970’s . Mahatma Rice is Zimbabwe’s most cherished rice brand. Recently extended into Mahatma Jasmine, Mahatma Basmati and Mahatma Brown variants, Mahatma continues to offer the rice connoisseur the best quality rice in the country. Mahatma is truly Perfect Everyday Just like Mum.


National Foods Stockfeeds is the most well-respected brand in the country having been in the business for over fifty years. This brand caters for poultry, beef, pigs, dairy, horses, dogs, fish amongst many others. There is a feed for every animal. There is significant research and development invested in the brand to ensure that we are always at the front end of nutritional advancements. This is the number 1 feed for every breed in Zimbabwe. Farmers know, with National Foods Stockfeeds, they stand to Gain by Maximising their Yields.


Established in 2008, this is National Foods’ youngest brand. It can currently be found primarily in the rice category where its Better Buy White Rice and Better Buy Parboiled variants have been performing extremely well. It has become a household name in a very short space of time. Both customers and consumers now know that Better Buy is Must Buy.


A wide range of ready-to-eat snacks and biscuits are sold under the popular brands Allegros, King, ZapNax and Iris. With today’s fast-paced, always-on-the-go lifestyle, National Foods’ snacks and biscuits range looks forward to satisfying the snack impulses of its customers; whether you want to indulge your craving immediately, or tide over till the next meal, we have something for you.

CSR & Sustainability