A LEADING South African supermarket chain wants more Zimbabwean agricultural products to add to the current basket of commodities being exported across the Limpopo river.
Pick & Pay director of group enterprises Dallas Langman told The Business Herald at the opening of the new TM Msasa branch yesterday that Zimbabwean fruits and vegetables can be traded anywhere in the world due to their quality.
The South African supermarket chain has, for the past two years, been importing strawberries from Zimbabwe and wants to spread the product range to other commodities.
“The quality of the product that’s here is remarkable to such an extent that we have even sent some of our personnel from Pick & Pay to Zimbabwe to start talking to local suppliers so we can bring the products to South Africa,” said Langman.
“We have been successful in bringing products from Zimbabwe to South Africa. We are taking strawberries from Zimbabwe to South Africa. It has been going on for at least two years. We want to do that more and more,” Langman said.
He said Zimbabwe should not always be receiver of products from other countries.
“It has to be a quid pro quo. It can’t always be about product coming from South Africa but it’s about growing the local industry,” said Langman.
Pick & Pay owns 49 percent of TM and Langman was in the country for the official opening the new Msasa branch. The South African supermarket chain has four supermarkets with the 52 stores under TM.
He said the group strategy is to grow the TM brand.
“Our goal is taking the TM brand to back to being number one in Zimbabwe. We are reinvesting in the company. This (Msasa store) marks our 52nd store in the group, 48 of those are TM and four are Pick & Pay. As Pick & Pay we are led by TM as the majority shareholder,” said Langman.
“We did a survey about three and half years ago in Zimbabwe between Harare, Bulawayo, Masvingo, Mutare and the TM brand stands out.”
TM Supermarkets spent close to $4.5 million towards refurbishment and stocking of its new state of the art Msasa supermarket. Of the $4.5 million, $3 million went towards building refurbishments, new equipment which include about 20 Point of Sale machines, refrigerators, bakery equipment, an up market butchery and air conditioning system.
The balance went towards stocking for the new supermarket.