Counterfeit goods threaten local production

Anchor Yeast is reportedly on the verge of closing shop due to competition from cheap imported yeast from Zambia.

According to Anchor Yeast, the imported product is smuggled into the country by cross border traders who do not pay duty. The smuggled yeast sells for a lot less than locally produced yeast.

“Bakers are not buying our product. They cannot pass on the extra cost to consumers since government has refused to allow bakers to charge more than one dollar for bread,” said a source who did want to be identified.

Consequently the company that employs more than 200 workers will be forced to close shop if nothing is done about the smuggled yeast.

Grace Muradzikwa, chairperson of the Buy Zimbabwe campaign, said it was unfortunate that local companies continued to face such challenges.

“Unfortunately we are now going for elections and due to the sensitivity surrounding prices of basic commodities the government will not sanction price increases for products like bread,” she said.

She said the Buy Zimbabwe campaign could only advocate for citizens to favour local products ahead of imports.

Meanwhile a local farming implements supplier, Zimplow, said they had identified counterfeit ploughs in the market that were originating from China.

Francis Rwakonda, the company’s finance director, said the ploughs had all the identifying marks of a Zimplow product but were made of inferior material.

He, however, did not reveal how his company would tackle this problem.

Last month a number of companies that were exhibiting at this year’s agricultural show also expressed concern about the threat posed to their operations by counterfeit and inferior products.

The Zimbabwe government adopted what it termed the ‘Look East policy’ in the last decade as it tried to open new markets after a fall out with its former trading partners. However, local companies and economists have routinely accused Chinese traders of dumping cheap and inferior products on the local market.

Post published in: Business

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