The company focus on reliability, supporting farmers able to provide a consistent supply throughout the year so that their operations can be as efficient as possible. What’s more, the quality grading system adopted by the Real Meat Company seven years ago, with only the animals meeting the highest quality being selected by the company, has had a knock-on effect, raising the standard of meat throughout the Zambian farming community.
they can use to pay for education for their children and important things like that,” explains Mr. Graham. The effect of this investment has been a reduction in staff turnover over the last few years, which benefits the company. “Members of staff take their work commitments very seriously now,” says Mr. Graham. “In turn, this helps support the sustainability of the company, as the workforce are really the foundation of your business.”
ZAMBIAN PROSPERITY Partly as a result of the Real Meat Company’s efforts, domestically-produced processed meat products have experienced a dramatic increase in popularity in Zambia over the past ten years. By reducing reliance on imports and keeping Zambian money within the country, this process has played a part in the nation’s improving economy. The Real Meat Company, however, is not content just to contribute to national prosperity. The company also invests directly in the wellbeing of employees. “Since the reorganization in 2013 we introduced productivity schemes, whereby each section in the company is appraised and the more work an individual does, the higher the remuneration is,” says Mr. Graham. “Alongside this, we’ve helped our employees to open bank accounts and take out loans from the bank so they can afford to buy their own property. This is important because the rental market in Zambia is awful.” Instead, it makes better financial sense for employees to pay off a bank loan so they can eventually have their own property. “The balance of that income is then a disposable income
CONSOLIDATING ACTIONS Zambia has changed a lot since Mr. Graham arrived from Ireland in 1991. In particular, the economic situation has strengthened with a vastly-widened middle income bracket. These people represent an important sector to Real Meat Company because they have
financial independence and spending power as well as a growing desire for higher-quality meat, something that the company is leading the market with. In order to continue supplying high-quality products at all price ranges, Real Meat Company are looking to continue streamlining their operations. “We’re already in a situation at the moment where we have plans drawn up to amalgamate the two sites here in Lusaka,” explains Mr. Graham. “We are going to put the pork abattoir and processing facility and the beef abattoir and processing facility onto a single site. It will be a state-of-the-art joint abattoir with a new processing factory and a new distribution system that will really accentuate the benefits of amalgamating all three companies together.” c
SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Sustainable Business Magazine EMEA 02/16