Local pet food manufacturer Montego Pet Nutrition increased production at its Graaff-Reinet facility, in the Eastern Cape, by 30%.
The R70-million expansion, which will also create 30 more direct jobs, included a new 3 600 m2, R15-million depot, divided equally for use as a warehouse and treats production facility.
A complete line to produce extruded semi-moist pet treats has also been installed to expand the company’s treat range.
Its current production can feed the equivalent of about 715 000 adult Jack Russells every day.
The company currently distributes to nearly 2 000 stores across 16 countries, including South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Tanzania and the United Arab Emirates.
The expansion of the factory’s existing dryer unit boosted production output by as much as 2 000 kg/h. The new coating system with vacuum-coater optimises the production process, allowing for the dosing of six liquids (a blend of fats, oils and digestives) and two powders simultaneously, resulting in more accurate dosing and consistent processes for quality purposes.
“Nearly a third of the factory equipment has also been upgraded with world-class machinery, including new product conveying and screening equipment to enhance efficiency in the production process,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
The factory also features four stainless steel liquid storage tanks that are temperature controlled and heat insulated, as well as upgraded cooler and storage bins for the safe storing of the final product.
“The upgrades to boost our production efficiency, were necessary for us to meet local and international demand and will allow us to grow our distribution range in existing and new markets. The aim of the developments is to grow our operations sustainably and responsibly,” says Montego Pet Nutrition marketing manager Wilfred Cawood.
An 8 kW three-phase solar system to run the new office block has also been installed. Montego is also in the process of building its own 500 kVA solar plant, which will be capable of powering 30% of the factory’s daytime electricity use.
“We have experienced double-figure growth year-on-year since we opened in early 2000,” concluded Cawood.