Albany, South Africa’s most loved bread brand* has re-opened its bakery in Virginia in the Free State. The R70 million restoration follows the revamp of Albany bakery in Bellville, Western Cape in August last year.
The new bakery will operate for 12 hours a day, across two shifts, with plans to increase output to full capacity, baking for 24 hours a day, across three shifts. It will produce its core products under the superior white and brown ranges.
The renewed bakery has a new bread cooler, baking Perkins moulders, slicers, baggers and mixers.
‘We are excited for the factory’s revival, which will not only deliver fresh love daily, but also provide jobs, uplift the community and drive new opportunities,’ says Matshela Seshibe, Albany managing director.
‘As a bakery we feel a special affinity for a province where so much of our country’s wheat is grown, and part of realising not just Albany’s potential but also the province’s through an investment like this,’ adds Seshibe.
Albany Bakery Virginia currently works with 22 local suppliers who provide raw materials, engineering spares and safety equipment. Fifty per cent of its suppliers have a Level 4 BBBEEE rating, and 18 per cent have a level 1 to 3 rating.
‘This investment will benefit our suppliers by increasing their turnover, and create additional employment in the Virginia area. As we open 17 new routes with 625 new outlets, and penetrate new geographical areas, more drivers and van assistance will be employed,’ says Matshela.
In addition to this investment, Albany is also committed to helping the lives of vulnerable children and their communities by focusing on nutritional enhancement. The organisation will continue to be involved in feeding schemes in collaboration with Shoprite Soup kitchen, giving disadvantaged school kids bread and soup daily.
Albany supplies loaves of bread per week to NGOs such as Emmanuel Children’s Home, Welridal Children’s Home and Maanblom Children’s Home. These organisations look after abandoned, abused and homeless children.
‘In terms of social investment, we are committed to adding value to people’s lives, and we’ve partnered with local NGOs to supply bread to homes that care for children, the elderly, and the disabled.’
Seshibe adds: ‘It is our vision to continue to be the best baked goods company in South Africa. Best in quality, best in service, best in technology, with the best team to do the job. We are confident that the new Virginia factory with its high-quality equipment, energy-efficient processes and tighter safety measures will set the benchmark for all other bakeries in South Africa.’
*Sunday Times Top Brands Survey 2017