8 Things That Boost Zambia’s Reputation As A Beef Producer

8 Things That Boost Zambia’s Reputation As A Beef Producer

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Africa’s beef consumption per capita has barely grown in recent years, and a significant number of African restaurants do not offer beef on the menu–or offer it sparingly. However overall meat consumption is expected to grow drastically on the continent because of growth in income and population. Analysts suggest that by 2050, Africa’s meat consumption will increase by 73 percent.

Zambeef is a leader in the industry and has helped make Zambia synonymous with good meat in Africa. One of the largest integrated agri-businesses in Zambia, Zambeef is something of an anomaly. The company has managed to raise its own cattle, do its own butchery, sell its meat and cattle retail and wholesale, grow its own crops and produce ready-to-use products like chicken feed.

Here is how African specialty butcher chain Zambeef is different from the rest.

Source: Economist.com

Zambia's reputation as a beef producer

All over Shoprite

South Africa-based Shoprite is Africa’s largest food retailer, with 1,825 corporate and 363 franchise outlets on the continent and its islands. Zambeef has found its way into 22 of Zambia’s 26 Shoprite locations, plus 15 more Shoprite stores in Nigeria and Ghana. The company finds favor due to its extra lean cuts, special attention to detail like seasoning and trimming, and quality packaging. One of the most popular Zambeef counters is in the upscale shopping center on Manda Hill, in a happening neighborhood of Lusaka.

Sources:  Allafrica.com, Zambeef

Zambia's reputation as a beef producer
Theglobalzambian.com/Zambeef counter

Independent shops

Zambeef has over 100 of its own locations and it also makes dairy products like milk and yogurt that Shoprite carries. What makes Zambeef special is that it caters to lower-income demographics as well, with some of its stores selling the “less desirable” cuts of meat at lower costs, says Economist.com. One such location in Mtendere makes around $30,000 a week.

Zambia's reputation as a beef producer
Howwemadeitinafrica.com/Zambeef CEO

It started as a failing meat factory

In 1991, Francis Grogan joined a failing meat factory to make big changes and turn it around. In 1994, Grogan and the factory owner’s son, Carl Irwin, founded a new company — Zambeef. They started with 60 employees, and today employ over 5,000 people, says Howwemadeitinafrica.com.

Zambia's reputation as a beef producer
Postzambia.com/Zambeef truck

Working with local businesses

Zambeef started with a unique business model, demanding cash payment for beef but allowing consumers to buy cattle on credit, according to Zambia-buzz.blogspot.com. Their quality product and savvy attracted Shoprite supermarket, which offered to buy eight Zambeef locations with Zambeef continuing to run the supermarket meat counters. Zambeef went on to acquire two local farms in order to stay in close contact with their beef, and deliver beef to their shops immediately when the beef were fattened.

Zambia's reputation as a beef producer
Theglobalzambian.com/Zambeef cattle

Compensating for cattle shortage

Zambia is facing a cattle shortage, so Zambeef reps regularly travel to Tanzania and Namibia to buy cattle and keep their beef numbers up. They’ve also started selling chickens as well as providing steaks to posh hotels, in order to keep their revenue growing. In addition to selling chicken and steak, the company sells a successful line of chicken feed.

Source: Times.co.zm,

Zambia's reputation as a beef producer
daily-mail.co.zm/Zambeef counter

They have crops

Zambeef does some of its own farming and harvesting, with over 8,350 hectares of row crops and 17,000 hectares of rain-fed/dry-land crops. They have plans to start a palm project in Zambia, according to Zambeefplc.com.

Zambia's reputation as a beef producer
Zambianeye.com/Zambeef butcher

Wholesale outlets

In addition to retail outlets, Zambeef has three wholesale outlets in Zambia. The company slaughters over 80,000 beef cattle and 6 million chickens per year, and processes 8 million liters of milk which they sell in retail stores and wholesale.

Source: Zambeefplc.com

Zambia's reputation as a beef producer
Zambianeye.com/Zambeef counter

A business anomaly

Zambeef has stunned investment analysts who usually recommend that businesses focus on one main product or service. If they want to branch out to an area outside their expertise, businesses should outsource specialty items to the experts. Analysts are surprised that Zambeef manages to raise its own cattle, sell its beef retail and wholesale, plant its own crops and produce ready-to-use products like milk and chicken feed without help of other companies.

Source: Economist.com