THE British Government has commended Zambia Sugar for playing a pivotal and central role in the country’s agriculture sector.
British High Commissioner to Zambia Nicholas Woolley described the sugar company as Zambia’s key agricultural and food processing entity, providing employment and a great end product to the market.
Speaking after touring the largest sugar plantation in Mazabuka District, Mr Woolley commended the company for employing more than 7,200 people in its operations directly, with many more benefiting through its supply chains.
He said the company was bringing more revenue and additional foreign exchange into the Zambian economy through its export facility, despite focusing its products more on the local market due to the appreciation of the local currency.
The British High Commissioner said Zambia Sugar’s parent company-Illovo Sugar Africa, was a subsidiary of the United Kingdom giant, Associated British Foods (ABF), adding that the UK Zambia partnership was, therefore, enshrined in a lot of what Zambia Sugar Company did.
“I am particularly impressed with the company that the by- products that come from creating sugar through sugar cane are producing energy and that the plant which is the biggest in Africa is able to be completely self-sustainable.” Mr Woolley said.
Zambia Sugar Country Managing Director Oswald Magwenzi said during the 2022 financial year, the company grew its revenue to K5.115 billion and posted a profit of K 1.005 billion after tax.
Mr Magwenzi said the appreciation of the Kwacha was good for the country’s economy. adding that the company’s operating profits had dropped slightly, owing to factors such as the of the Kwacha.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic had continued affecting the company, although robust COVID-19 management systems were in place to address the pandemic.
The managing director commended the employees’ continued resilience throughout the pandemic.
UK Trade Commissioner for Africa John Humphrey has commended Zambia Sugar and its parent company Illovo Sugar Africa for developing its own business sustainability models in the era of climate change.