As part of its growth strategy to meet local and international demand, Montego Pet Nutrition (Montego) has undergone a R70 million upgrade to its factory in Graaff-Reinet, Eastern Cape.
This investment has seen its production increase by 30%, the total of which is the equivalent of feeding approximately 715 000 adult Jack Russell’s daily.
The expansion of the factory’s existing dryer unit boosted production output by as much as 2 000 kg by the hour. The new coating system with vacuum coater optimises the production process, allowing for the dosing of six liquids (a blend of fats & oils and digestives) and two powders simultaneously, resulting in more accurate dosing and consistent processes for quality purposes.
Nearly a third of the factory equipment has also been upgraded with world-class machinery, including new product conveying and screening equipment to enhance efficiency in the production process. The factory also features four stainless-steel liquid storage tanks that are temperature controlled and heat insulated, as well as a upgraded cooler and storage bins for the safe storing of the final product.
With the increase in demand for its premium pet food and treat products, Montego also built a new 3,600-square metre depot worth R15 million, divided equally for use as a warehouse and treats production facility. A complete line to produce extruded semi-moist pet treats has been installed as the company embarks on expanding its treat range.
According to Wilfred Cawood, Marketing Manager at Montego Pet Nutrition, these infrastructure and equipment upgrades will not only boost Montego’s production efficiency, but will allow the brand to grow its distribution range worldwide.
“The upgrades were necessary for us to meet local and international demand and will allow us to enhance our reach into existing and new markets even further,” says Cawood.
Montego currently distributes to nearly 2,000 stores across 16 countries worldwide, including South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Tanzania, and the UAE to name a few.
“The aim of the developments is not just to grow our operations, but to do so sustainably and responsibly. We’ve made sure to include the people who are impacted by our business in every way, and our environment, in our strategic growth plans,” he continues.
The upgrades to Montego’s operation have created nearly 30 direct positions across various levels including operational, managerial and supervision.
“Montego prides itself on its minimum wage policy that is currently 67% higher than the proposed minimum wage amount in South Africa, something that speaks to the core values of our company, and our efforts to help grow the local economy of our much-loved town,” says Cawood.
To save resources, for example, an 8KW three-phase solar system to run the new office block that is currently underway has been installed. Montego is also in the process of building its own 500KVA solar panel plant, capable of powering 30% of the factory’s daytime electricity usage.
“We have been blessed to find ourselves in the position where demand for our products is continuously high, even in the more challenging economic times South Africa has faced over the years. We’ve experienced double-figure growth year-on-year since we first opened our doors in early 2000,” says Cawood.