RCL Foods Limited

07/03/2024 | News release | Distributed by Public on 07/03/2024 04:00


Posted: Wed 3rd Jul 2024


Bread is one of South Africa's staple foods, and despite a challenging market, RCL FOODS' Baking business is on the rise.

"The baking industry as a whole has faced a very difficult past three years, with the significant increase in commodity prices impacting the end-pricing for consumers who're already financially challenged," says Daryl Milne, Managing Director: Baking at RCL FOODS. "But there's still reasonable growth across some of our categories of Bread, Buns & Rolls, Milling, Pies and Specialty."

In a tough economy, there's always the temptation to cut costs by bringing in machinery and automation. But in the Baking business, the focus is still very much on people. "Replacing people with equipment is one way of de-risking a business," says Daryl, "but those machines need artisans, minders and engineers to keep them running - and those are among the skills that our industry is most lacking at the moment. It makes more sense for RCL FOODS to invest in skills development."

To that end, RCL FOODS invests in initiatives like the Siyabhaka Baking Academy, which provides theoretical and in-bakery training to young baking professionals. Over and above that, each of the Baking business' operating sites has been charged with driving at least one environmental or social project in its community.

"We also have a highly skilled group of RCL FOODS employees who assist in training hundreds of new bakers across South Africa every year," Daryl adds. "As a business, RCL FOODS has a clear Purpose: WE GROW WHAT MATTERS. For us in Baking, that means investing in the right areas and focusing on the right things that will make us more sustainable."

"Our communities are part of our DNA," says Daryl. "Many of the Baking business' operations are within South Africa's rural areas, so we see ourselves as a community business. That's where our staff come from, that's where our suppliers are based and that's where WE GROW WHAT MATTERS."

As is the norm at RCL FOODS, the Baking business works closely with the DO MORE FOUNDATION, helping to support its early childhood development (ECD) initiatives across South Africa. "We understand and support the cause, and have projects on the go around affordable nutrition. From a business perspective, it costs to make products that are nutritious, so we're very careful about getting the balance right between delivering value and providing good nutrition," says Daryl.

Despite the challenging economy, Daryl is very positive about the future of RCL FOODS' Baking business. "We're gritty," he says. "We know that it'll take a lot of passion and commitment to get through what we're facing, but our people are tough.

We'll continue to focus on building our wonderful brands through stronger community involvement, brilliant operational execution and strong, differentiated innovation.

At RCL FOODS Baking, WE GROW WHAT MATTERS through strong diverse teams, focused on feeding people and providing tasty and nutritious food.