Mama Fresh Starts Afresh


The management of the company has reduced the number of employees




Mama Fresh Plc, a company which bakes and exports Injera and had got into trouble after a dispute with the city administration, gets back on track after a two-month pause.

The company was required to evacuate from its former premises for losing a contract agreement for the four-storey building it rented in the Kirkos District, for a monthly rental fee of 47,000 Br. The former premises, the company homed for two years, is located in the area locally known as Wengelawit, a few kilometres down the Gotera interchange. The district management forced the company out of the building claiming the facility was required for the youth of the area, who were in need of working place.

It moved to its current home in the Akaki Kality district, after investing 600,000 Br to develop a temporary facility. It recently started operations with a workforce of 30 and a new manager, Mieraf Hailu, who replaced his father, Hailu Tessema. Hailu is now retired and has become board chairperson of the company, which was established as a family business in 2003 with a 100,000 Br capital. Hailu along with his spouse and Mieraf established the company.

Until it was closed, the company have been generating 20,000 dollars a week exporting Injera, a staple food. During the closure of the company, 60ql of teff flour prepared to make Injera was flattened out forcing the company to lose one million Birr.

“We are renegotiating with the customers, especially two big brand hotels in Addis,” Mieraf told Fortune. “We lost our clientship with them during the past two month’s temporary cease of production.” Mama Fresh Plc. is currently negotiating with Sheraton Addis and Hilton Addis Hotels and Fresh Corner.

It also cut the number of its workforces from 80 to 30. The management of the company claims that it reduced the number of employees at it could not get sufficient area for its plant. It pays a maximum monthly salary of 2,500 Br to its employees.

The company further plans to construct its own production plant in Akakai Kality District, near its current production unit. After the completion of its to be built plant, the company expects to bake 30,000 injera a day. For the plant, the company has already acquired 2,600sqm plot of land from the Addis Abeba City Administration.

“We will be investing 15 million Br for the new plant,” Mieraf said.

Baked out of Teff flour, the average local price for injera in the local market stands at five Birr. The current price of Teff averages 2,200 a quintal, according to retailers of crops at Ehil Berenda. Rather, it is sold for a dollar abroad especially in the United States. The exporting companies spend 0.6 dollars for a freight. The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sweden are also the major destinations of Injera from Ethiopia.

“The company was one of those that were exporting Injera fulfilling all of the pre-requirements from importing countries,” said an official from Food, Medicines & Healthcare Administration & Control Authority (FMHACA).

Mama Fresh Plc also received an award of appreciations in February 2015 from the Ministry of Urban Development, Housing & Construction for being one of the successful micro and small enterprise engaged with export. Former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalgn presented the award to the company.



By YARED TSEGAYE
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on May 26,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 943]


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