Leading South African FMCG company Pioneer Foods recently entered a local licensing agreement with Réunion-based FMCG company Royal Bourbon Industries (RBI). The agreement will enable RBI, through a newly launched production line, to manufacture, distribute and market Ceres Beverages’ tetra products in the Indian Ocean region.
RBI is a local licensed manufacturer of large international brands and has been importing and distributing the Ceres brand in Réunion for close to 20 years. Pioneer will deliver pulp to Réunion from where it will be manufactured into fruit juice, distributed and marketed.
Pioneer Foods, which exports to 80 countries across the globe and has a significant international footprint through exports and in-country business partnerships, has a strategic focus to drive growth outside of South Africa.
“We already have an established presence in the Indian Ocean region through similar partnerships in Mauritius, and we will use the partnership with RBI as a platform to expand our footprint into francophone Africa from Réunion,” said Phil Roux, CEO of Pioneer Foods.
Roux said the company is exploring sustainable opportunities outside of South Africa in the face of slow growth in the country. “This is an ideal growth opportunity for us. Ceres Beverages is one of the largest beverage manufacturers on the African continent and Ceres is a key brand in our product portfolio with significant brand equity in the export market.”
Daniel Moreau, CEO of Royal Bourbon Industry, said RBI aims to leverage the local production line to increase the market share of the Group in the beverage sector and to promote local production of fruit juice instead of imports. “It’s really good to produce, instead of import, a South African-branded juice here in Réunion. This is a major step forward in the relationship between Royal Bourbon Industry and the Pioneer Foods Group, which for 20 years has developed a partnership on the import-export sector in the territory and today transforms into direct local production.”
Present at the inauguration of the production line was Pioneer Foods CEO, Phil Roux, Daniel Moreau, Réunion Region President, Didier Robert, the governor of Réunion, Dominique Sorain and head of Pioneer Foods International, Thushen Govendar.
Citing prospects for regional co-operation and economic development, the Réunion Region and Europe have supported the development of the new production line in Réunion.
Didier Robert welcomed this development for RBI, which is financially supported by the region, Europe and the state. “With this new production line, 20 jobs were created and that is an indication of Réunion production winning,” he said.
Pioneer Foods provided technical guidance on the installation of the production line and assessed the quality on implementation. Given the importance of the Ceres brand in the market, the company will continue to ensure the quality standards of the line.
NOTE TO EDITORS
Réunion has a population of about 850,000 and is situated about 200 km southwest of Mauritius. Réunion is one of the overseas departments of France, and is also one of the 27 regions of France. Réunion is part of the Eurozone.