From Milk to Market: The History and Evolution of Dairibord’s Diversified Product Portfolio

Mercy Rufaro Ndoro, Group CEO at Dairibord Holdings Limited, narrates the company’s remarkable evolution, as it progressed from its roots in milk production to emerge as a vibrant market player boasting a wide-ranging portfolio of products.

“Dairibord originated over 70 years ago under the name Dairy Marketing Board, established through an Act of Parliament. Initially, it held the exclusive mandate of collecting raw milk from farmers, processing it, and serving as the sole processor in the country. Later, Nestlé entered the market. In 1994, amidst the government’s economic structural adjustment program, Dairy Marketing Board underwent transformation into a company, registered under the Companies Act, fully owned by the government of Zimbabwe. In 1997, under the stewardship of Antony Mandiwanza, the company debuted on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange through an oversubscribed IPO, amassing over 5000 shareholders. Following privatization that same year, employees acquired 10% equity, later increasing it to 19%. The government initially held 25% at listing but subsequently divested, rendering Dairibord a success story of Zimbabwean privatization”, says Mercy Rufaro Ndoro.

“Over time, Dairibord evolved from solely relying on milk to boasting a diversified product line, achieved through acquisitions, such as Lyons in 2001, and substantial research and development efforts, yielding new products. Presently, the business is organized into three primary product categories: liquid milks, foods, and beverages. Liquid milks encompass UHT processed milk, sterilized milk, and cultured milk, constituting 28% of our operations. Foods, comprising yogurt, ice creams, condiments, sauces, and peanut butter, represent 7% of our business. Beverages, comprising dairy fruit blends, flavored and traditional maheu, Quick Brew tea, and drinking chocolate, constitute 65% of our volume sales. Additionally, we maintain a property portfolio for leasing to the operating company and third parties. That encapsulates our business structure”, she adds.

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