City Phamarcy substitutes imports with more local fresh produce


CITY Pharmacy Limited (CPL) has substituted more imported produce with locally grown produce in the past five years, with imports making up less than 50 per cent of total produce this year.
This resulted in more that K6 million being paid to local farmers last year, says CPL fresh produce distribution manager Raj Shanhi.  “We import about 20 different types of fruits and vegetables from Australia, New Zealand and China. In the past five years, we exceeded from import to local,” Shanhi said.
“We started from very small project where we used to buy K1.2 million of fresh food and vegetable on an annual basis. And within the five years we worked hard and came up with different strategies. We achieved K6.2 million that we have been purchasing from local producers.”
Shanhi attributed this switch to greater engagement by CPL with local farmers in building their capacity to produce more. “CPL’s turnaround strategy is a different strategy where we went to the farm level and did a lot of surveys and selected the potential farmers and registered them.
“We also taught them in the agricultural aspects like transporting, proper harvesting, best practice methods, leadership and team building. We also provided financial support to selected farmers where we can provide loans to increase the production size.
“We also motivated them and also pricing where we tell them that if you increase your volume we can also increase the price for a better pricing system.”