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Mondelez South Africa now official – new MD shares his vision

Kraft Foods South Africa this week announced its official name change its to Mondelez South Africa after parent, Kraft Foods, split last year to create Mondelēz International, the world’s largest snacks group. The company used the occasion to share its vision for growth and position itself as a “catalyst for change” across all its areas of activity.

South Africa is a vital market for Mondelēz International and a gateway for Mondelez SA operations in Southern and Central East Africa, going as far north as Ethiopia.

Gawad AbazaVeteran executive Gawad Abaza (left), who took over in April as Mondelez SA MD in Johannesburg, considers himself on a mission to expand the company’s business, by continuing to develop its people, its range of iconic brands, as well as its sales and manufacturing infrastructure.

“Our new name builds on an exciting and impressive legacy. Our products – especially the most recognisable and loved Cadbury brand – have a long and proud heritage in South Africa, all of which will not only continue under the Mondelēz International banner, but will grow and expand,” Abaza said at a press conference in Johannesburg.

Abaza previously headed Mondelēz International operations in Egypt and the Levant (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Cyprus).

Mondelēz International’s business in Southern and Central East Africa was worth $585-million last year, contributing some 15% of total revenue for the greater Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (EEMEA) Region. EEMEA, one of five business regions in the Mondelēz International world, generated $3.7 billion in revenue in 2012.

Abaza added that regional growth would be driven by a variety of product offerings, including affordable, smaller pack sizes for the lower end of the market in the 18 African countries he oversees. The aim, he said, is to tailor Mondelēz International products to reach all consumers in these markets.

In South Africa, its brand portfolio includes: Cadbury Dairy Milk, Jacobs coffee, Halls, Oreo and Trident/Stimorol gum, Chappies bubble gum, Lunch Bar, Dentyne chewing gum and Royal Baking Powder.

In consolidating its reputation for innovation, one of the drivers of its global products, Mondelez SA aims to be an employer of choice by combining talented and motivated teams with its portfolio of great brands. Investment in state-of-the-art manufacturing infrastructure and route to market will complement the growth agenda going forward.

“We recognise that we are only as good as the people who create and innovate across all areas of our business,” said Abaza. “Investment in training and development, in tandem with cross-pollination of global skills is, therefore, an important focus.”

Equally important is investment in communities. Mondelez SA is a respected corporate citizen through its involvement in community initiatives across Southern and Central East Africa, where it focuses on three key areas of social responsibility: hunger and poverty alleviation, healthier lifestyles, and sustainable agriculture.

The company has contributed significant funds to two flagship projects in South Africa: more than R4 million to the Tembisa Enterprise Development Project, a skills training initiative; and R2.8 million to Humana people to People SA Farmers’ Clubs, a sustainable agriculture project in the Eastern Cape. In neighbouring Swaziland, the company has given support to the Esicojeni Foundation, a hunger-alleviation project, with funding of R765, 000.

Source: Mondelez South Africa