In almost two decades the defunct State-owned meat processor and marketer, Cold Storage Company CSC is set to resume normal operations after the investor injected US$6 million to capacitate the company in its bid to revive old and absolute infrastructure which has not been taken care of for the past two decades.
The company has adopted a new business model of private public partnership where it is engaging partners to run some of its cattle ranches on a long-term basis as part of efforts to build the national herd and revive the country’s once largest meat processor.
CSC under the new model, will now largely focus on meat processing at its slaughterhouses while the cattle ranching will be done by its partners.
Such a business model has resulted in one local company investing US$6 million towards reviving Dubane Ranch in Gwanda in the Matabeleland South Province after 20 years of in activity.
CSC which was one of the country’s largest employers before its fortunes waned due to a number of factors including loss of key export markets and stiff competition from private players after de-regularization of the industry in 1992 as a result of a structural adjustment programme.
CSC enjoyed a monopoly since 1937 when it was formed but serious competition from private players plunged it into a viability crisis following sharp decline in cattle throughput.
A year later, the company had lost 50 percent of its market share to private players.
The Government overlooked the implications of liberalizing the industry when CSC had not been financially capacitated to stand competition from private players.
Since 1992, CSC largely survived on EU exports and had a US$15 million revolving payment facility with the bloc. Its annual quota of 9 100 tonnes of meat and used to earn at least $45 million per year from the EU export quota.
The facility was discontinued after the EU suspended imports in 2001 following an outbreak of foot and mouth disease.