The Malta Independent 13 June 2024, Thursday
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Magro Brothers to make €12.5 million investment in Gozo

Monday, 20 May 2024, 10:31 Last update: about 24 days ago

Magro Brothers - well-renowned food processors that operate from the island of Gozo -  intend to make a further investment to develop their industrial complex in Xewkija, Gozo during the period 2024-2028.

"This investment will allow Magro Brothers (Foods) Ltd to double its production capacity of table sauces, which it presently exports to some 22 countries, principally to north European countries. To this effect, the company has set up 2 subsidiary companies, one in UK and another one in Ireland, to ensure a better level of service to their customers in these vital markets," the company said.

The company offers a wide range of foodstuffs for the overseas and local markets, namely the processing of fresh tomatoes, with special emphasis on tomato ketchup and other condiments, for the world market and a range of tomato-derived products for the domestic market, using the company's heritage brands of Three Hills, Mayor and Hanini. Magro Brothers employs 170 people and creates a further 48 full-time equivalent employees, by way of a multiplier effect of its production activities, it said.

"Annually, the company buys around 80% of the locally produced, fresh tomato crop, from 90 local farmers, and a variety of fresh vegetables from another 10 local farmers."

Over the past years, the company has been experiencing a substantial growth in its exports of table sauces and during 2024 it has successfully reached full production capacity, working 24 hours per day all year round, it said.

"As a means of enhancing its production capacity and attracting more foreign clients, the Company is endeavouring to make a further major investment to its existing enterprise.  The project will be divided into three main phases and, most importantly, will be housed in the same industrial footprint of the Magro Food Village at Xewkija Gozo."

"The first phase of the project is dedicated to: the purchase and installation of a new Filler/Capping machine to hot-fill sauces at higher speeds than the existing production line; the purchase and installation of a new high-density shelving and pallet shuttle system, complemented with reach trucks to increase the storage capacity of two existing stores by 70%; and the construction of a new mezzanine floor to house a new, state-of-the-art, automated, sauce-processing kitchen plant.   "

"The second phase of the project will be devoted to: the purchase and installation of a new automated sauce-processing kitchen plant; the purchase and installation of other ancillary machines to further increase the capacity of existing hot-fill lines; and the fabrication and construction of another mezzanine level, on top of the existing main production hall, to house the new filling line."

"The third phase of the project will consist of: the purchase and installation of an Aseptic/Ultra-Clean, Cold-fill, sauce packaging line together with an in-line PET blow moulding machine and ancillaries; the purchase and installation of other high-density shelving systems and reach trucks for other existing stores, to house the packaging material for the PET project; and the extension of the existing solar panel system by 25%, to cater for the increased demand of energy."

The total investment for this project, over the period 2024 to 2028, will amount to over €12.5 million, the company said.

"Such investment embraces the latest technological development in the table sauces food-production sector in the world and offers various ecological credentials, in reduced energy consumption, during both the processing and filling stages of the production lines.  This investment will also advantageously allow the company to offer its customers 100% recyclable bottles, that are blown on site, thereby substantially reducing carbon emissions presently incurred during the transport of empty bottles to the Magro manufacturing plant. All this is in line with the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives which are currently being undertaken by Magro Brothers.

Furthermore, the company has elected to house this project within the existing industrial footprint; thereby avoiding the need to request around 5000sq meters of additional industrial space in Gozo."

"As a further bonus, this investment will generate additional vacancies for 15 specialised technicians as direct employment, and as a multiplier effect will create a further 28 full-time employees for ancillary services and supplies directly-related along the supply chain. In addition, it is also being envisaged that most of the current workforce would need to be reskilled to successfully operate and follow new production processes of the new state-of-the-art equipment forming part of this project."

It said that with this new investment, "the company will have the capacity and ability to compete with the top 5 European companies in the sector."

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