By Princewill Ekwujuru
Nigeria’s population – set to reach close to 400 million people by 2050 – is among the fastest-growing of any nation in the world, that growing population is propelling a growing consumer demand for affordable food in the country.
Since making an entrance into Nigeria’s robust market decades ago, global leaders in culinary product manufacturing, GBfoods, has constantly been increasing its investments in the Country and as it fulfils it purpose of “Celebrating Local Flavors”.
The company has continued to provide quality and authentic meal products and ensuring families across 50 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, including Nigeria, share memorable moments around good food. GBfoods has been on a growth trajectory as it strives to meet the nutritional needs of Nigerians.
Celebrating Local Flavours
As part of its purpose of celebrating local flavors, Chief Executive Officer of GBfoods Africa, Mr. Vicenc Bosch said the company has provided a wide range of quality, well-established brands in Nigeria such as Gino, Bama and Jago, under which they manufacture a wide range of quality products that make the daily lives of many African families easier. Products under their brands include Gino Tomatoes Mix; Gino Pepper Onion, Gino Thyme; Gino Curry; Gino Chicken and Beef Cubes; Bama Mayonnaise as well as Jago Mayonnaise.
“Despite the presence of, and challenge from, both foreign and indigenous players in the food manufacturing industry, GBfoods brands and products have become household names, solidifying the company’s leadership position in Nigeria,” he stated.
Increasing Local Production
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges it presented on the economy, GBfoods saw the need to increase its production capacity and recently completed a N20billion Tomato Processing Factory and Industrial Farm in Kebbi, Bosch noted.
The factory is the second largest in Nigeria and the only fully backward integrated plant in ECOWAS – and has the largest single tomatoes farm in Nigeria.
Also, the farm serves a dual purpose – producing industrial tomatoes in the dry season and soya beans in the raining season.
The tomato factory will convert fresh tomatoes into tomato concentrate used for producing Gino Tomatoes Paste and Gino Tomato Pepper Onion Paste while the soya bean will be used to process soya-bean oil which is a critical ingredient for GBfoods’ Bama and Jago Mayonnaise.
Adding, the Country Manager, GBfoods, Mr. Vincent Egbe said the company has secured additional land that is expected to be cleared in September 2020 in preparation for the farming season of October 2021 which will be similarly accompanied by an upgrade in the factory’s capacity.
Creating Jobs through local production
Farmers and other players in the value chain of the Agricultural sector are in for a better future as GBfoods has created thousands of jobs with various backwards integration projects.
The completion of the N20billion tomato factory and industrial farm, also saw the creation of over 1,000 jobs including 500 farming jobs, 150 factory jobs and 150 construction jobs,- which comes as a relief especially with the COVID-19 pandemic that has instigated many job losses.
Over the past three years, GBfoods also engaged many smallholder farmers as out-growers in the three states of Kaduna, Katsina and Kebbi.
The company not only trained the farmers on good agricultural practices but also provided them with tomatoes seedlings, free plastic crates, agrochemicals and various equipment such as water pumps and hose pipes, enabling the farmers to access to water in the dry season.
With the expansion of the tomato factory, the company aims to provide even thousands more jobs in the ensuing years.
Making life easier for its host communities
GBfoods is an advocate of giving back to its host community and has been actively engaging in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), centered around SME development, sustainability and technological advancement, among others.
The company also made efforts towards creating shared value in line with the Sustainable Development Goal #6 – access to clean and affordable water- by providing 16 boreholes for drinking water to all the villages around its farm/factory in Kebbi.
The company also took the initiative to fence the graveyard where the community inter their relatives.
Asides employing members of its host community, the company is currently conducting research to identify additional ways to further support the community within the neighbourhood of its farm.