SUN REPORTER writes
THE coronavirus pandemic has pushed the brewing firm to innovate and redirect energies towards fighting Covid-19 alongside Government, Zambian Breweries Operations Director Franz Schepping has said.
“As Zambian Breweries, we are seeing beyond the crisis and looking for opportunities to survive, save employment and help our country. In our endeavour to support the front line medical staff, together with our staff, we have gone out of our comfort zones to innovate into the production of hand sanitisers,” said Mr Schepping.
Speaking, last week when Minister of Commerce Trade and Industry Christopher Yaluma toured the Mungwi Road plant in Lusaka, the brewing firm pledged to continue contributing supplies to help government fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Operations Director explained that Zambian Breweries had gone outside its comfort zone to supplement efforts against the virus, using its laboratory to develop a hand sanitiser formula that is being manually packaged for donation, but not for resale.
He further indicated the company would do more to support partnerships that increased opportunities to grow the economy.
“I can confirm that discussions are now ongoing on with key players in the market such as Zambia Sugar, Zambeef, and the potential producers of ethanol,” he said.
Mr Schepping disclosed that Zambian Breweries would remain supportive to measures taken by government on restrictions to opening of bars and taverns, and allowing off-premise outlets and chain stores to sell liquor.
“We remain supportive of the measures outlined by the government on closing on-premise consumption and only allowing off-premise outlets and chain stores to sell liquor. This is important if we are to stop the further outbreak of the pandemic in Zambia. ”
“We need a healthy and productive community for us to continue to be in business,” he emphasised.
The commerce minister was on sight to get a first-hand understanding of the work being done, particularly the supply of hand sanitisers.
“Government will remain open and supportive to businesses like Zambia Breweries that add value to the economy of Zambia,” Mr Yaluma said.
Meanwhile, Zambian Breweries Country Director Jose Moran said the firm was facing challenges as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak but that they remained resolved in fighting the spread of the diseases.
“We share the pain of our retailers and distributors who have been impacted by the virus, and we remain determined to support our nation and the people of Zambia as we join together – at a distance – to fight the spread,” Mr Moran said.