KEY SUSTAINABILITY SUCCESSES WITHIN THE GROUP
The following are the key sustainability successes of F2023 within the Group’s businesses:
Water Recycling Project – Irvine’s
Irvine’s embarked on a water recycling project to mitigate against drought and to reduce the amount of water used during its operations. The project will be completed in 5 phases and is expected to be completed by 2025. Phase 1 is in progress and involved the procurement and installation of coarse and fine screens to filter water. Recycled water is being used to clean crates in the processing plant which reduces the total amount of water used.
Solar Power - Profeeds
In F2022 Profeeds started installing supplementary solar power at its shops throughout the country to ensure a continuous supply of electricity, especially for the refrigerators stocking veterinary medical supplies.
Electric forklifts – Natpak
Natpak continues to use electric forklifts to improve the air quality in the work environment. Four of Natpak’s five forklifts are electric.
Zero waste philosophy – National Foods
National Foods’ zero waste philosophy continued to be made possible as a result of its cyclonic boilers in Harare and Bulawayo, which recover energy by incinerating waste, such as used plastic sacks, at high temperature to produce the steam required for processing its stockfeed products. This is done in a manner so that National Foods’ air emissions are kept within its current green band, as set in its emissions permit. During F2023, the volume incinerated at the boilers more than tripled compared to F2022, with a total of 1 801 tonnes of non-recyclable waste being sent to the boilers in F2023 compared to 482 tonnes in F2022.
In the reporting year, Profeeds and Prodairy sent 122 tonnes and 118 tonnes, respectively, of suitable waste to National Foods’ Harare cyclonic boiler, reducing their waste to landfill and National Foods’ reliance on coal.
ISO 22000 Food Safety Management Certification – Probrands
Probrands is working towards being certified for the International Management System Standards (MSS) of ISO 22000 (Food Safety Management). The business had its first internal audit in December 2022.
BRCGS for Packaging Materials upgrade from B to AA rating - Natpak
Natpak’s three divisions have been certified to Brand Reputation Compliance Global Standard (BRCGS) for Packaging Materials in F2022. BRCGS is the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) benchmarked certification which gives customers assurance on product safety, quality, authenticity and legality. As a result of the audit that took place during F2023, Natpak’s certification was upgraded from B to AA rating.
The Coca Cola Company Supplier Guiding Principles technical assessment – Natpak
Following Natpak’s successful audit in F2021 by The Coca Cola Company for compliance with its Coca Cola Supplier Guiding Principles and for passing the technical assessment for conditional supplier status, Natpak was periodically audited in F2022 with unconditional supplier status for Coca Cola packaging achieved in August 2022.
New Flour Mill in Bulawayo commissioned in F2023 – National Foods
A new flour mill was commissioned in Bulawayo by National Foods which will make the milling process more energy efficient, with a 25% increase in capacity compared to the old mill. There will also be improvements in health and safety through dust control, use of safety switches and lower noise levels.
New Automated Bread Factory in Bulawayo commissioned in June 2023 – Baker’s Inn
The new plant uses energy efficient boilers and ovens, reducing its resource consumption and air emissions. Its coolers use a closed loop system which reduces the amount of water used.
Recycling initiatives – Natpak & Alpha Packaging
Natpak and Alpha Packaging continued with their successful recycling initiatives. Natpak implemented and strengthened its waste management system.
The recycling plant improved output capacity and upgraded its recycling plant by installing a pelletiser, vibrator and drier to improve the efficiency of the plant and quality of the final products. Industrial plastic waste is recycled into pellets. These are for internal use in the production of black sheeting and also sold to other players in the industry. During F2023, 774 tonnes of recyclable waste was recycled at the plant. The initiative of collecting pre-consumer plastics from clients for recycling that was launched in F2022 continued successfully with 32 tonnes of recyclable plastics being collected in F2023 compared to 17 tonnes in F2022.
Alpha Packaging continued to produce egg trays from 100% waste paper. A total of 1 037 tonnes of recycled paper was used in F2023; an increase of 68% in the volume of paper being recycled due to the second egg tray plant being commissioned.
Contract Grower Programme – Irvine’s Zimbabwe
Irvine’s continued its outgrower programme with 30 independent farmers who supply its processing plant with birds for slaughter. Of the broiler chickens processed at Irvine’s Zimbabwe 100% are grown by Contract Farmers.
Support for local farmers – Profeeds & Nutrimaster
Profeeds and Nutrimaster continued to provide an agri-solution for all its customers, who are mainly smallscale farmers, by providing training, agricultural and technical support advice to their customers as well as providing a one-stop shopping service in the areas they operate. This increased local economy transactions and ultimately encouraged local growth.
The Group continued to support groups that empower women in their local communities. For example, Irvine’s worked with a women’s cooperative who make and repair protective clothing items for team members.
Community Skills Development within the Group
The Group is providing job training opportunities for 184 young people in the form of graduate traineeships, attachments and/ or apprenticeships. Of the 184 students, 49% were women.
Casual Labour within the Group
During F2023 the Group’s businesses gave the opportunity for ad hoc work by employing 5 694 casual labour over the year. From a community perspective this is a commendable contribution to society by giving unskilled workers the opportunity to work.
Provision of Healthcare – Providence Health
Providence Health, through its 16 clinics nationwide, continued to support the Group’s employees and their dependents with the provision of healthcare services. A total of 23 341 clinic visits from employees as well as their dependents were recorded at these clinics. A further three onsite clinics are run by Providence Health look after the staff of seven of the Group’s businesses, with a new clinic having opened in Ruwa outside Harare in November 2022. Over the reporting year a total of 14 373 clinic visits from employees and their dependents were recorded at these onsite clinics.
Medical Clinics at Irvine’s Zimbabwe
Irvine’s runs two clinics separately which have recorded over 10 000 visits annually over the past three years. In F2023 a total of 10 579 visits were recorded at the clinics - 7 829 visits from employees and 2 750 from their dependents.
School Education – Irvine’s & Colcom
Irvine’s and Colcom provided access to education for employees’ families and local communities through the primary schools located on their farms or by transporting the children to schools within its local area.