Health foods start-up relishes maiden ZITF participation
By Wellington Zimbowa
HONEY and healthy cereals manufacturer start-up by a young Food Science graduate is set to further its export footprint – thanks to the ZITF 61at edition where it made its maiden appearance.
Glycine Foods started in 2020 by Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) Lesley Marange through an inspiration to address youth employment and post-harvest challenges blossomed from being a backyard project through self-pocket into an industry of note that has spread its wings in the region.
Speaking in a telephone interview with this paper the company’s marketing executive Tanaka Marwizi was optimistic of new further heights due to ZITF participation.
“It may be a bit immature to reveal more details on the potentially transforming engagements with local and external organisations.
“But the participation has been a rich exercise and we look forward to great results,” he said
According to the company’s founder and chief executive officer, Lesley Marange the company supports rural farmers through buying from communal farmers around Zimbabwe at a favourable price as opposed to the unscrupulous buyers (makoronyera) who fleeces them out their sweat earned products for peanuts.
Last year he revealed that it snatched a Zambian order worth 10 tonnes per week. Also through the Zimbabwe Trade Expo –government export trade agent- the Harare headquartered company won a Special Economic Zone deal for a production plant in Zambia.
He also told the media then during a plant tour that other regional countries such as Angola, DRC, Malawi, and Namibia have registered keen interest in its plant-based products that are touted for perceived health benefits, longevity through maintaining body youthfulness.
Through its vision for youth s, the company boasts 31 employees mainly under the age of 30 years.
As per its inclusive job creation policy priority is also given to people of different abilities, that those with some physical difficulties who constitute 5 percent.
“Globally an increase in uptake of health food products owing to the prevalence of non-communicable diseases such as high blood pressure, cancer, and sugar diabetes. People are also health-conscious because healthy eating gives youthful looks which have become a global social value,” said Marange said in media reports last year.
However, the company bemoans the lack of financial capacity to meet its growing market demand saying currently it only has full capacity for the local market.
There have been numerous agro-based food startups in the country with some producing products like baobab drink or yoghurt, pumpkin food oil, sweet potato crisps among others.