Unilever Nigeria Plc has disclosed a planned initiative aimed at increasing access to local raw materials, through partnerships with farmers and intermediary firms. This will, among other things, drastically reduce the company’s dependence on importation of raw materials.
The company’s Procurement Director, Thomas Nwanza made this known during his speech at the Manufacturing and Equipment, Nigerian Raw Materials Expo which was recently concluded in Lagos. According to him, the company has already made considerable progress in this regard but aims to achieve more.
Already, Unilever has achieved over 90% in local sourcing of packaging materials. The aim is to achieve 100% by the end of 2019 and overcome the current challenges of local vendor’s capacity to meet up with global best standard. In the agro-allied sector, Unilever is partnering with intermediary companies, for the supply of cassava and starch.
We are also investing in the production of palm oil for use in BlueBand and soaps, and exploring local production of herbs and spice for our seasoning cubes.
The company intends to invest in farmers and intermediary firms, improve their production/processing capacities, and better position them to transform farm produce into semi-finished products which can be sourced as raw materials for Unilever’s productions. This initiative is aptly named ‘Partner to Win’, and the company strongly believes that it will encourage local productivity, discourage importation, and encourage economic growth.