Ugandan food company Britania is sourcing products for its fruit juices locally and exporting at competitive prices.
Britania Allied Industries bemoans the same high production costs as all Ugandan manufacturers do. The company sells juice and snack foods but does so from a landlocked base. Despite belonging to the regional House of Dawda, Britania admits that when the East African common market arrives next year, it will be hard to compete. “By 2015, Kenyan manufacturers will take over the market for biscuits and confectioneries,” says sales and marketing manager, K.R. Sridharan.
Rather than wave the white flag, the company is focusing on its comparative advantage and relocating production. Uganda is overflowing with pineapples and mangos. Sourcing locally is inexpensive and allows Britania to export juice competitively, and being landlocked means Uganda has a lot of neighbours. “From 2003, the company experienced enormous growth,” Sridharan says – 30% per annum through 2007; 20% in 2008 – “mainly because the peace agreement was signed and the market opened up in southern Sudan.” Britania also exports to markets in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Burundi. Conflicts are destabilising demand in Sudan and the DRC, so Britania is opening a biscuit plant next year in Tanzania, from which to compete with Kenya and serve Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia.
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