Lobels seeks funds abroad for further expansion


BULAWAYO — One of the country’s major bakeries, Lobels Bread Holdings, has seen bread production at its Harare plant going up 20% to 250 000 loaves a day after the successful installation of $5,8 million semi-automated machinery in the last quarter of 2013.

The baker, which almost collapsed under the burden of $14 million debt, has been rehabilitated by a consortium of banks.

The firm is battling to claw back market share, having lost ground to Innscor’s Bakers’ Inn and Proton Bakeries.

Lobels Bread chief executive officer Ngoni Mazango said major shareholders were seeking additional capital this year to further increase output at both the Harare and Bulawayo bakeries.

“In Bulawayo, we are producing an average of 100 000 loaves per day, but we are seeking more capital to improve production this year, although I cannot say much at the moment.”

He said the company now owned by banks NMB, FBC, CBZ, Capital Bank and Metbank — under the vehicle Altiwave — was forced to seek the capital from outsiders as the country was facing a shortage of cash in the economy.

“Banks are struggling as well so it means seeking the capital from other alternative sources.”

He said power outages were pegging back production at the company’s two bakeries.

“We are sometimes forced to use 100 litres of fuel per hour to power generators which is very expensive.” — The Source


    • Being a Food Safety specialist – I took a much deeper keen interest on the photo that was used by the journalist and wondered how you allowed such a photo to be used. Image in the food industry is a sensitive issue – it affects customers perception.

      Okay this is what I noted:

      1). The man in the picture – he is not wearing a hair net to cover his hair. But a butcher hat, that was fine in days before we knew more about food safety – A hair net would cover his ears and hair to prevent ear wax or hair falling into product. In the past I have bought bread with hair and had wondered how it got in there.

      2) The man in the picture is sweating excessively – it would mean the work environment is hot and therefore not adequately controlled. A bakery environment is naturally hot from the ovens used to bake bread. Your air extraction system is either not working or is not enough or would mean the equipment placement is highly congested not allowing for a free flowing of air. Result is workers are sweating and sweating over the in process bakery products.

      3) The man in the picture is weighting a dough product – using bare hands and an open environment. Risk – dust/yeast and moulds/hair/ear wax/E-coli from dirty hands or poor cleaned/weevils from the flour/ would contaminate the dough = dental injury from physical items such as loose stones from within the factory environment would contaminate your product.

      4) The man in the picture is dirty to say the least – looking at his facial expression, says it all. I am just here for the pay check. Food safety is not a culture at Lobels.

      5) The main in the picture – is wearing dirty PPE and apron. Very heavy soiled. Quality control is sleeping on the job.

      6) A production manager or supervisor/qc is wearing a red cap inside the factory with no mop cap to cover his hair – it appears to be a culture in the company of making sure we eat hair products.

      7) A gear box to a piece of machinery is exposed – oil/grease would be spilling our from here. And if it is not food grade would contaminate the environment.

      I would say a lot of things by what this picture is telling me. One you do not have a policy for controlling visitors, and taking of photos. Most food factory control use of cellphones inside the factory. In fact in most factories cellphones are not allowed inside the factory.

      As a food safety specialist. I was concerned about what I saw and what I buy. No doubt I will be telling my family not to buy Lobels, I already do not buy Bakers Inn bread, TM, OKs bread. These places are shocking – especially Baker’s Inn Bulawayo.

      • xx, wakaoma shamwari you better go and work there as a chief Quality Controller. I’m sure Lobels would hire you to improve operation standards. Your analysis of the picture brings the real true scenario in the lobels bakery plant.

  1. When I was growing up as a pre-teen in the 1970’s Lobels Bread was a brand name;ISO certified etc. I remember my mother sending us to the shops to buy strictly Lobels bread and not (according to her) the sub-standard Proton bread.Now it seems the tables have turned the other way.You only have to visit their Beatrice Road factory to see how the cookie has crumbled for this once great company.The effects of our ill-thought out black empowerment policies of 51 percent indiginisation.

  2. Guyz here in Zim the lifestyle it’s getting poor & poor. the standard of Zim is 50 50 neSomalia. gud example hakuna buther risina nhunzi. we are far behind South Africa with 100years.

  3. lobels is a clear example amoung many others of what NORMALLY happens to a formerly white owned company when it is put in black hands. mabhoyi tinonyadzisa.

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