Haro Coffee, one of the local coffee processing firms, has started the construction of a plant that makes disposable containers for food and beverage takeaway packaging. Resting on 650Sqm of land located behind the premises of Meles Foundation in Kazanchis , the under-construction plant is expected to cost 20 million Br.
Forecasted to be operational in two months, the plant will produce paper cups, sugar sticks, drinking straws, bamboo stir sticks, and paper bags for takeaway service. It will make 45 to 60 pieces of paper containers a minute, working 24 hours a day in two shifts. Container sizes are set to vary from 110ml to 450ml. The factory will hire 30 employees with eight of them to be employed in the operation of machinery.
Haro plans to use the containers for packaging and marketing its own takeaway coffee. It also aims to provide labelling services to other food and beverage companies.
The construction of the warehouse was started four months ago, and currently the installation of machinery imported from China at a cost of 267,000 dollars is taking place. The packaging firm will have four types of machinery: one that cuts paper sheets into pieces, one for making the pieces into containers, one for packaging the containers, and a printing machine dedicated to branding the products.
Haro will source the paper from Burayu Packaging & Printing Industry Plc, which was established in 1997 with an initial capital of 15 million Br. Located 10Km from the capital in Burayu, the plant produces carton boxes for packaging and retains 350 employees. It also supplies cake and egg trays; paper cones; labels; packets; calendars; paper tubes and other paper products.
Haro will also have separate coffee sales departments for hotels, for supermarkets and distributors, and for coffee shops.
The company had been importing blank paper cups without branding, and this encouraged then to initiate the idea of getting into the packaging business, says Nardos Mamuye, owner and CEO at Tsegona Manufacturing Plc, the parent company of Haro.
Established in 2008, Haro is engaged in the coffee processing and brewing business with three coffee shops in the capital. Haro used to import its packaging from China and Dubai. In addition to manufacturing its own packaging, it also has plans to start exporting ground coffee to the Middle East before the end of this Ethiopian year.
Haro will also distribute its takeaway coffee using vans and from shops at malls, according to Nardos.
The packaging business will be significant to many others in reducing costs and in providing additional services to customers, according to Mesfin Moges, founder and CEO of EtBuna, a coffee sourcing and consulting firm.
Mesfin stressed that Haro should be mindful of the quality of the products, as it is concerned with food safety.
There needs to be care in terms of moisture and the shelf life of the packaged coffee, according to Mesfin, who also recommended writing expiration dates on the containers to protect the safety of consumers.
Mesfin said that even though many people prefer the traditional coffee ceremony, the takeaway coffee industry is emerging in the country, and such businesses will benefit from high potential demand. He argued that when people become busier and more tied down with work, they tend to use convenient takeaway products. Therefore, the business is likely to grow alongside the economy.
The expert urged Haro to exploit the potential by establishing outlets across the capital so that people can readily find the product. He also recommended offering branded ground coffee to customers to take advantage of the huge demand for this product.