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Home » Hume International announces major growth plans for 2023

Hume International announces major growth plans for 2023

  • marimac 
Hume dry store. Image credit: Hume International
Hume dry store. Image credit: Hume International

South African food distributor Hume International has announced that it will be investing R30-million towards expanding its dry store facilities over the next year as the company seeks to meet surging local demand and grow its export business.

As Hume International celebrates the 25th anniversary of its founding this year, founder and Managing Director Fred Hume notes it has seen remarkable growth in its dry goods business over the past year. This comes amidst soaring local and international demand for products such as starches, soya products and casings – all typically used in the production of sausages, viennas and polonies.

In response, the company plans to build a brand-new dry store facility totalling 1 300 square metres in Gqeberha. Likewise, it is currently in the process of finalising a new 500 square metre building in Johannesburg at the N12 Strategic Park and will be increasing its storage capacity in Pine Town. Finally, it hopes to have expanded its storage facilities and presence in Cape Town by July next year to better service the Western Cape market.

“We have traditionally been known as a frozen food commodities trading business, importing some 180 million kilograms of frozen food over 2022 alone. But over the past three years, we’ve slowly ventured into dry goods, as we’ve noticed increased demand for dry products,” states Hume. “We have therefore increased our product basket to specifically include locally manufactured starches, sunflower oil and other FMCG products for the sub-Saharan market.”

“I’m pleased to report that the response from manufacturers and wholesalers has been phenomenal so far, enabling us to act as one-stop-shops for food manufacturers and wholesalers both in South Africa and across the continent.”

This investment represents another major milestone in the evolution of the business, which started as a small family butchery in Gqeberha in 1997. In 2007 it began importing ribs for local households, restaurants and various other butcheries in addition to retailers and wholesalers, and since then it has expanded its operations to employ over 300 people across the country, trading in 27 countries globally and selling more than 398 products including everything from frozen meat and dairy products to juices and powdered milk.

Additionally, Hume International subsidiary company Ziqenye Food Services is currently home to the only meat, poultry and seafood import and export-approved commercial cold store facility in the Eastern Cape.

Looking ahead, Hume notes that the company now aims to seize advantage of its expertise in African markets to expand its successful export business, which has already grown 40% over the past year.

In particular, the company will be partnering with various local producers to bring South African-made goods to countries such as Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Swaziland, Mozambique and Botswana.

“Exports have been a key focus for Hume International over the past year, where we’ve become involved in selling goods such as sunflower oil, cereals, ice-cream, soda drinks and even soaps to Africa and the Indian Ocean islands,” says Hume.

“As traders and food distributors, our goal is to strengthen supply chains both in South Africa and in Africa, bridging the gap between local production and demand to ensure a steady supply of goods and help to reduce price volatility. We’re also proud to play a meaningful role in assisting South African companies to reach overseas and African markets, enabling them to grow and expand their own businesses.

“We’re grateful for the many successes of our business over the past 25 years, and over the next 25 years we hope to make a significant difference to South African businesses and the economy as we grow our trade footprint.”