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Beitbridge Juice plant to employ hundreds

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Beitbridge Juice plant to employ hundreds

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ELLEN MLAMBO

TWO NATIONS REPORTER

BEITBRIDGE ñ Beitbridge is going to have its second juice plant that is poised to employ hundreds of people, Nottingham Citrus Estate Pack House manager Nyasha Tinofirei has said.

The only other juice plant in Beitbridge is run by Schweppes Holdings Africa.

Tinofirei however, declined to disclose the value of the plant or its processing capacity but a huge percent of its produce will be for export.

He told delegates during a tour of Nottingham Estate’s orange Pack House by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Simon Masanga on Tuesday that his company will set the plant next year.

Currently Nottingham, a family business owned by Notty family is the biggest producer of oranges in Beitbridge with 800 hectares under oranges, lemons and grape fruits. A minimum of 400 tonnes of oranges is processed per day. The Estate currently employs 1 200 workers and 90% in the pack shade are female because women are more gentle with fruits.

Nottingham sells its fourth grade oranges to Beitbridge Juicing Company, a subsidiary of Schweppes for juicing and 70% of its orange production is sold in its raw state to the foreign market.

Nottingham sells first and second grade oranges to Middle East, Far East and Europe. Third grade is sold locally and regionally to countries like Malawi, Mozambique and DRC. 

“The inside quality of oranges is the same, it’s only the outside appearance that differs. The juice percentage, acids and sweetness is the same. They are classified using outside appearance. When grading the fruits, we use a high grading technology which captures 20 photographs of each orange at a high speed. It also processes 12 fruits per second, picks the colour of an orange and its size,” said Tinofirei

Last season the company produced 1,3 million cartons of oranges for exports. 

Tinofirei said that the plant will improve the company’s financial fortunes by enabling it to control a lot factors. 

Masanga visited Nottingham following his tour of Shashe Irrigation Scheme.

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