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Freshmark to boost horticulture industry with new distribution centre

Retail Holdings Botswana, trading as Shoprite remains steadfast in the sustained creation of value across chain. In attestation of this, the group officially opened a distribution plant on Monday the 24th of June.

Freshmark is the Group’s fruit and vegetable procurement, buying and distribution arm and is a substantial business in its own right. It supplies fresh produce fruit and vegetables to Group stores within Botswana, and most of its outlets in other parts of the continent. Currently one of the largest purchasers of fresh produce in Africa, Freshmark also imports fruit and vegetables when needed to ensure a wider variety and continuity of traditionally seasonal fresh produce.

Most the Group’s fresh produce requirements are sourced directly from local producers with the focus on a fresh promise to the customer. This practice also reduces transport and packaging costs. Extensive effort goes into establishing a local network of suppliers and this objective is followed through across the continent as the Shoprite Group expands into Africa.

Said Clint Jackson, General Manager of Freshmark “Food security is a global priority and we’d like to play our part in contributing to this. This distribution centre presents numerous opportunities for increased farming and food production as well as giving a much-needed boost to our horticultural sector.”  This development will give a much needed boost in reducing the country’s fruit and vegetable import bill.

The Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Bogolo Kenewendo added, “My Ministry has embarked on a strategic journey to close the borders to some products. For example, with so many water bottling and purifying plants in Botswana, it only made economic and business sense to regulate imports from other countries. The implementation and active enforcement of these policies purely exist to regulate and manage the rate of imports into the country particularly in industries that have the potential to carry themselves such as the Agriculture industry.”

Freshmark operates its own network of distribution centers; negotiates production contracts with over 1114 growers and 95% of its fresh produce is sourced locally, in support of the communities it serves; sources specialty fruit and vegetables on local and international markets; and plays a key role in equipping emerging farmers with the knowledge and skills to produce and meet international GLOBALG.A.P. standards.

Management also added they are always in touch with the latest international research about new and improved varietals and products and these are introduced to the Group’s markets.  Packaging standards are continuously reviewed to ensure it meets local and international requirements and standards and answers in the nutritional and recycling information needs of the consumer.

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China’s GDP expands 3% in 2022 despite various pressures

2nd February 2023
China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 3% year-on-year to 121.02 trillion yuan ($17.93 trillion) in 2022 despite being mired in various growth pressures, according to data from the National Bureau Statistics.

The annual growth rate beat a median economist forecast of 2.8% as polled by Reuters. The country’s fourth-quarter GDP growth of 2.9% also surpassed expectations for a 1.8% increase.

In 2022, the Chinese economy encountered more difficulties and challenges than was expected amid a complex domestic and international situation. However, NBS said economic growth stabilized after various measures were taken to shore up growth.

Industrial output rose 3.6% in 2022 over the previous year, while retail sales slightly shrank by 0.2% data show that fixed-asset investment increased 5.1% over 2021, with a 9.1% hike in manufacturing investment but a 10% fall in property investment.

China created 12.06 million new jobs in urban regions throughout the year, surpassing its annual target of 11 million, and officials have stressed the importance of continuing an employment-first policy in 2023.

Meanwhile, China tourism market is a step closer to robust recovery. Tourism operators are in high spirits because the market saw a good chance of a robust recovery during the Spring Festival holiday amid relaxed COVID-19 travel policies.

On January 27, the last day of the seven-day break, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published an encouraging performance report of the tourism market. It said that domestic destinations and attractions received 308 million visits, up 23.1% year-on-year. The number is roughly 88.6% of that in 2019, they year before the pandemic hit.

According to the report, tourism-related revenue generated during the seven-day period was about 375.8 billion yuan ($55.41 billion), a year-on-year rise of 30%. The revenue was about 73% of that in 2019, the Ministry said.

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Jewellery manufacturing plant to create over 100 jobs

30th January 2023

The state of the art jewellery manufacturing plant that has been set up by international diamond and cutting company, KGK Diamonds Botswana will create over 100 jobs, of which 89 percent will be localized.

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Investors inject capital into Tsodilo Resources Company

25th January 2023

Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.

According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.

The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.

Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.

Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the company’s market capitalization.

Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana.  The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.

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