Milk processor, Dairibord Zimbabwe Limited (DZL), has approached Government with a view to be exempted from paying duty in foreign currency for imported raw materials particularly concentrates that are used for making juices.
This comes amid reports local firms are losing business to foreign companies mainly from South Africa that can afford to reduce their prices by up to 25 percent since they use a softer currency.
DZL argues paying duty in local currency is designed to ensure the products are sold at affordable prices.
DZL imports concentrates for its juices such as Fun ‘n Fresh, but given that Government announced in the 2019 Budget that some products and/ or raw materials must pay duty in foreign currency, the listed concern is keen to be exempted from paying duty in forex to keep prices low.
Company chief executive officer Antony Mandiwanza, said an application has since been filed with responsible authorities.
“We have already submitted an application to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, (and) Minister of Industry and Commerce to consider exempting these concentrates on duty,” said Mr Mandiwanza.
“Indeed, we know that there is a duty paid in foreign currency.
“Unless you are 100 percent exporting and earning foreign currency, it’s a cost that has to be passed down to the consumer. So we have already applied and we know that matter is under serious consideration. The reply I have received so far is to say, ‘yes’. In fact, we also put the same to Zimra so that together they can come up with a response but sooner than later, a positive response will be received.”
DZL also imports “significant quantities” of bulk powdered milk, which is used in the manufacture of yoghurt and ice creams; and polymers, the granules used to make plastic packaging for beverages and milk.