Foot and mouth affects production at Nestle

HARARE - Nestle Zimbabwe is slowing growing stocks of its Infant Formulas (IF) after they had gone off the market for nearly one month owing to a foot and mouth outbreak in South Africa (SA). Nestle’s corporate communications and public affairs officer Yamurai Zhou told the Daily News that because of a ban on SA dairy products the production of the formula was affected.

This also comes at a time when Cerelac has also been in short supply on the local market owing to limited foreign currency to import raw materials for its manufacture. “We are fully aware of the supply constraints currently in the market and the discomfort it has caused our consumers and customers.

As an organisation we are working round the clock to minimise the impact on our consumers and customers. “Nestlé Zimbabwe does not manufacture IF locally. We source our formula from our sister company Nestlé South Africa, which produces the IF that we require in line with local regulations governed by the ministry of Health and Child Care.

“Our supply was affected for close to a month by a foot and mouth disease outbreak in South Africa. Authorities in South Africa and our own local authorities put in place temporary measures banning all export and importation of live animals and their products,” Zhou said.

Zhou added that although our products are 100 percent safe for consumption and were not impacted by this outbreak, IF being a milk-based product was inevitably part of the ban. Zhou emphasised the ban has since been lifted but the situation had created supply gaps to their market and they were gradually rebuilding their stocks.

A survey conducted by the newspaper showed that major retail shops had limited stocks of both IF and Cerelac while some did not have IF completely. Shops that still had small quantities of IF had products that were manufactured in July and August 2018 only.
Cerelac retails for around $11 in most shops while IF products such as Nan and Lactogen range between $10 and $15.

While health practitioners advise to breastfeed exclusively until a baby is six months, IF is beneficial for children with working mothers and has also been fortified with nutrients found in breast milk for maximum benefit.

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