East London-based Sundale Dairy is set to break ground at the East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ) in August as it launches Sundale Schreiber.
Sundale Schreiber is a joint venture (JV) between Sundale and international processed cheese company Schreiber, which is expected to create 100 new jobs and stimulate local economic development.
The new Sundale Schreiber JV will develop processed cheese for quick-serve restaurants.
Currently, 70% of slice-on-slice cheese slices in South Africa are imported.
Sundale supplies Burger King and McDonalds South Africa with imported cheese slices but, once the new facility is up and running, these will be replaced with locally made cheese slices.
Sundale Dairy CEO Pierre van Rensburg says the negotiations have been under way for three years and "we now eagerly await the manifestation of this iconic partnership that is a value-add solution for the local economy.
“Our shared vision to deliver exceptional quality, service and innovation and our commitment to sustainability underpins our strategy to deliver 7 000 t/y of cheese slices to the African market.”
Van Rensburg explains that the cheese slices to be produced by the JV are preservative-free, contain natural dairy proteins and fats and offer excellent functionality, which results in consistency in colour and cut of the slices, making it ideal for the quick-serve sector.
This latest venture is part of Sundale’s aggressive growth strategy and complements Sundale’s continuous investment in its expanding cheese business.
In 2018, Sundale joined forces with Just Milk to buy the old Dairybelle Cheese factory in Cookhouse, which was a R20-million investment. In August 2019 it invested another R10-million to open a cheese factory in Braelyn, where it processes 200 t of cheese a month into fixed weight sizes.
Sundale is a market leader in the Eastern Cape in cheese, cream and butter categories.
The partnership with Schreiber creates opportunities for skilled labour in the Eastern Cape for food technologists, process engineers and technicians and is a welcome boost for the sector that relies on export opportunities for sustainability.