Following the unprecedented pressure placed on food supply chains, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with bottlenecks in farm labor, processing, transport, and logistics, Freddy Hirsch Nigeria, a fast-growing African manufacturer of extracts for spices, ingredients, and flavors has advised manufacturing companies operating in the country to engage in backward integration by sourcing their raw materials locally to grow the economy.
Speaking during a media interactive session recently, Managing Director of Freddy Hirsch West Africa, Kojo Brifo said that the containment measures applied during the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the essential flow of food from farms and producers to consumers and particularly affected manufacturers that are dependent on raw materials sourced out of Nigeria. He advised manufacturers in the country, especially food manufacturers to look inwards and source savory flavors locally.
During the lockdown, several products disappeared from store shelves, due to sourcing problems. Many companies had to frantically source local alternatives, thanks to closed borders and no-fly policies. While these measures have been reduced, the key lesson is the need for food companies to design their supply and production chains for resilience.
Brifo noted that one of the smartest ways manufacturing companies can survive the current economic challenges in Nigeria is to invest in the local market by sourcing raw materials and savory spices locally. “For many food companies, sourcing ingredients and spices abroad is no longer the default model. Companies must develop an end-to-end supply chain management that reflects a wider pool of suppliers, including regional ones while keeping larger strategic stocks. Other alternatives are to simplify offerings, resulting in a leaner, more manageable product range, less risk, and lower costs” he noted.
“This is why Freddy Hirsch has invested in a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant, Research, Development, and Application laboratory and extensive networks that enable it to derive authentic insights from customers, meet their unique taste preferences of the regional market and develop competitive solutions in culinary, bakery, confectionery, and dairy. As the preferred partner of choice to local and global food and manufacturing companies in West Africa, we empower our customers with locally sourced materials and non-FOREX exposure.
To achieve this and more, Freddy Hirsch Nigeria partnered with Symrise, a global fragrance, care, flavorings, and nutrition manufacturer, to jointly boost food innovation and nutrition in West Africa. We are focused on the development, launch, and commercialization of transformational food products: general seasoning, bouillon meat, snacks, and instant noodles, through strategic initiatives like collaboration with local chefs and insights, learned from staple local delicacies & recipes” he said.
Brifo noted that local sourcing of savory flavors guarantees customers with Naira trading and predictable OPEX, speed to market, due to local sourcing, non-FX issues, and shorter lead times, among others. With this, he said, customers can save their forex for more critical purchases and procure their raw materials in Naira.
Freddy Hirsch Nigeria is part of the Freddy Hirsch Group, a Cape Town-based supplier of industrial spices, casings, and meat processing equipment, servicing thousands of customers, including independent butcheries, major retail chain stores, meat processing factories, and poultry factories. Freddy Hirsch Nigeria has become a reputable manufacturer of savory flavors, seasonings for the bouillon and noodle market in West Africa.