ETHIOPIA – Garanba Bottling, a subsidiary of B&C Aluminum Plc that bottles South Spring Water in Ethiopia, has closed a deal with a UK-based company to export US$1m worth of bottled water to England.

Garanba Bottling was established with an investment of 410 million Br (US$12.5m) in Aregobena Wereda of Sidama Zone.

It operates with 310 employees and has the capacity to produce 16,000 bottles of water an hour.

The Bottling company signed the deal with the British company on January 1, 2020 and they will ship 1,200tn of bottled water as a trial this March.

The first shipment will take five 20-foot equivalent units, which will constitute one million bottles. South Spring Water will mainly be delivered in 0.6lt and 1.2lt bottles.

Before inking the deal, the two parties completed the testing and sampling process, which took close to three months.

“Following the first round, we’ll seal a long-term agreement to ship 50 containers a month,” said Berhanu Getahun, board chairperson of Garanba Bottling.

According to Berhanu, Garanba Bottling has also been negotiating with buyers for close to two months to start exporting its products to Saudi Arabia.

“We’ve sent a sample to the company and currently we are working on the contract agreement,” he revealed.

To encourage the export of bottled water, the Ethiopian Bottled Water, Soft Drink, Fruit & Vegetable Processing Manufacturing Industries Association has sent a letter to the business diplomacy directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to facilitate the export of bottled water to neighbouring countries.

Origin Water, bottled by Origin Food & Beverage Factory located in Oromia Regional State, has been exporting bottled water since last year with Djibouti as its main destination, reports Addis Fortune.

Since embarking upon the export of bottled water, Origin Water has shipped a total of 1.2 million tonnes of product, worth an estimated US$7m.

“Currently, there are some gaps in our export venture to the neighbouring country due to foreign exchange problems that limited us from importing more machinery to increase our production,” said Haymanot Anbesse, quality control manager of Origin Water.

Currently, there are close to 97 bottlers operational in the country, with a total registered capital of three billion Birr (US$92.1m).

The increasing competitiveness of the thriving industry compels the bottlers to stretch their reach to foreign countries.