Starafrica loses Coca-cola contract


Starafricacorporation has lost its contract to supply bottle-grade sugar to Delta Beverages’ bottling division after the owner of the trademark, The Coca-Cola Company, based in the United States, withdrew its seal of approval on grounds of quality.
Delta Corporation, the holding company of the beverages division, has a territorially exclusive contract with The Coca-Cola Company to bottle, sell, distribute and merchandise a wide range of fizzy beverages such as Coca-Cola, Fanta, and Sprite.
The Coca-Cola system rejected the sweeteners produced by Starafrica’s Gold Sugars — the largest sugar manufacturer in Zimbabwe — for fear its quality would compromise the standard of the sparkling beverages produced by its bottling partner in the country.
The soft drinks must be produced strictly according to laid out specifications. This ban, however, did not affect Gold Sugars’ contract with Natbrew, Delta Beverages’ clear beer manufacturing subsidiary.
“All products suppliers are audited and approved by the Coca-Cola system to protect the trademark and ZSR (now Gold Sugars) was not found compliant,” an official with the company’s Zimbabwe operation, said. “The colour is not right, so when we dollarised we had to look across the Limpopo.”
The bottling company now imports 2 000 tonnes of sugar from South Africa every month to produce 90 000 hecto litres of soft drinks at an estimated landed cost of $1,5 million.
The cost per tonne in South Africa is roughly $761 compared to local prices of about $940.
The sweeteners are mixed with filtered water to produce a syrup which is then compounded with concentrates, produced and supplied by the Coca-Cola Company, and other additives to produce carbonated soft drinks.