Spur buys into new Joburg ribs plant

The Spur Group has acquired a 30% stake in Braviz Fine Foods to secure its supply of increasingly popular pork ribs. Braviz is a start-up operation currently establishing a new world-class meat processing facility in Johannesburg that will specialise in processing rib cuts.

Spur’s investment of R36m, structured in the form of equity and shareholder loans, will assist the group in securing its rib supply. Ribs are amongst its most popular menu items, according to CEO Pierre van Tonder.

The 6 000m² meat processing plant, being built at a cost of R120m, is scheduled to begin production by December 2014. Employing over 50 people, it will have the capacity to process 700 metric tons a month. GEA Process Engineering is known to be a key equipment vendor to the factory.

Van Tonder said the advanced technology of the facility, coupled with the expertise of the other shareholders, who will be responsible for day-to-day operations, will maximise efficiencies within the supply chain.

It will also ensure that the highest standards of quality and food safety are observed.

“Our investment gives us access to a top-quality product at competitive pricing, benefiting our Spur franchisees and, in turn, their customers,” he said.

With ribs currently sourced from Europe, pricing is subject to global demand and exchange rate fluctuations. The facility will be able to supply ribs to the 272 franchised Spur Steak Ranch restaurants in SA, but export markets will also be explored, he added.

Initially, the focus will be on rib processing, but the facility is also being designed to process other proteins, including chicken.

The venture will be managed as a standalone operation, with trading dictated by market forces. Customers will not be limited to Spur franchisees, said Van Tonder.

The Spur corporation operates 494 outlets globally across five chains, namely Spur Steak Ranches, Panarottis Pizza Pasta, John Dory’s Fish Grill Sushi, Captain DoRegos and The Hussar Grill. Spur Steak Ranches, with 308 outlets worldwide, is the biggest of its brands.

Source: Business Report; News24.com