No Soft Drinks For Zimbabweans During Festive Season

DELTA Beverages says it has the capacity to supply beer, but will not be able to meet demand for soft drinks during the forthcoming festive season.

Addressing journalists during a tour of the company’s Harare plant on Thursday, Delta Beverages chief executive Pearson Gowero said although government had released foreign currency to enable importation of raw materials, the company would still not be able to produce enough soft drinks ahead of the festive season.

Although many retailers have increased the prices for soft drinks, Gowero insisted that the company had not increased its wholesale prices as it was getting foreign currency from the Reserve Bank Zimbabwe (RBZ).

“But I am happy to say that I have just received confirmation here that the central bank has allocated us some money to bring in some concentrates for soft drinks. Therefore, we are working over the weekend to get them in time for Christmas,” Gowero said.

“As far as beer is concerned, we should be able to meet demand without too many problems. Soft drinks, clearly we are not able to do so. There is going to be some kind of shortage of drinks.”

The company requires at least $60 million to $100 million in foreign currency per annum to import raw materials. For beer, Gowero said they need about 35 tonnes of barley to produce over 220 million litres for the Harare lager plant, but operations have since been affected by intermittent supplies of foreign currency from the RBZ.

Gowero said forex shortages were impacting heavily on the production of soft drinks, as most of the concentrates where imported from Swaziland.

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