Cargill, an agro-processing company, has ceased to run all operations at its soybean crush and vegetable oil refinery in Lusaka effective end of October, 2018, rendering 260 staff unemployed.
In a statement, the company stated that the decision to shut down its operations in the capital city was made in view of the growth of illegal imports of vegetable oil from neighbouring countries.
“Cargill has announced it will cease all operations at its soybean crush and vegetable oil refinery in Lusaka effective at the end of October, 2018. The difficult decision was made as the growth of illegal imports of vegetable oil from neighbouring countries continues to have a significant negative impact on the Zambian crush and vegetable oil industry,” reads a news release issued via PR agency, Cutting Edge.
“Alongside a smaller than anticipated Zambian soybean crop this year, these factors make it no longer possible for Cargill to operate the business in an economically viable way. Unfortunately, the closure means approximately 260 employees will be impacted, as their roles are no longer required. Cargill is committed to working to minimize the impact for employees in line with the country’s labour laws and all affected employees have been notified.”
According to the statement, Cargill will begin mothballing the Lusaka-based facility from November this year in a “safe and responsible way.”
“Approximately 45 employees will be retained in essential roles to ensure the safety, maintenance and operational integrity of the site. In line with the decision to cease its crush and refinery operations, Cargill is exploring options for the future of its business in Zambia,” read the statement.
Cargill has a total of around 155,000 professionals in 70 countries drawing together the worlds of food, agriculture, nutrition and risk management, and have helped farmers grow, connecting them to broader markets for more than 150 years.
Last September, the company reached an agreement with Parrogate Ginnery Ltd. to purchase Cargill’s cotton gin and maize mill, among others, in a landmark development that secured a future for cotton and maize operations in Chipata.