Institute of Development Management (IDM) and Choppies will work together on an exciting new partnership after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) last Friday.

Choppies Chief Operations, Ranjith Ravindranathan explained the MOU will focus on developing Culinary Arts, specifically baking skills, in the country.

He revealed the Choppies board recently approved a shared value initiative designed to ensure every single Thebe created by Choppies is shared by all stakeholders, including suppliers and the community at large.

Ravindranathan noted that the new partnership with IDM was a step towards achieving this initiative.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ministry of Investment Trade and Industry, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Lameck Nthekelang applauded IDM and Choppies for agreeing to work together.

He described the development as a welcome move, fully- supported by Government as it will ultimately create employment opportunities for Batswana.

“This program, I am told, was further enhanced to enable citizens to consider venturing into the bakery, confectionery and pastry business, which has necessitated this partnership with Choppies.

“Choppies on the other hand, with a wide footprint across the length and breadth of this country, will provide mentorship opportunities and practical training to trainees, equipping them with practical skills to go and start up these businesses,” praised Nthekelang.

He said his Ministry restricts the importation of baked goods, including all types of bread, pastries, cookies, muffins, scones, cupcakes and other baked products prepared from flour or meal derived from some form of grain.

Nthekelang said he is happy to see two such prestigious institutions combining their efforts and partnering to facilitate the realisation of this statutory instrument.

For her part, IDM Country Director, Onalenna Seitio Kgokgwe said the partnership came about at the perfect time, particularly in light of Government’s recent efforts to give citizens a bigger portion in the production of bakery products locally.

She predicted the partnership would change the landscape and bridge the training and mentorship gap in the SMME sector.

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Choppies Enterprises Limited (CEL), the Botswana-grown supermarket chain, has posted strong results for the year to June 2020 from its continuing southern African businesses in Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

Despite COVID-19, which is estimated to have cost CEL BWP190m in revenue, CEL managed to increase its revenue by 1% to BWP5,421 million; increased gross profit by 3% to BWP1,253 million and raised its gross margin from 22,7% to 23,1%.

This comes off the back of a period of consolidation and restructure, improved corporate governance and the withdrawal from non-performing operations in markets including South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique.

Choppies Chief Executive, Ram Ottapathu, says: “These are solid results. Our continuing businesses are resilient. We have traded strongly following the exit from certain markets and the impact of Covid19 and hyperinflation in Zimbabwe.

“We are particularly pleased by the strong growth in EBITDA and our ability to consolidate our continuing business in Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe.”

The bottom line was adversely affected by the discontinuation/disposal of its operations in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique; and by the impact of IFRS 16 – Leases. While the group showed a total loss of BWP371 million, this was down 14% on the BWP429 million loss in 2019.

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Your household budgeting begins when you start planning to buy your groceries. You may disagree with this statement. But, you know that food is one of our top expenses after housing. So, a right budgeting while visiting your nearby supermarket will help you to cut your monthly expenses. The following tips may help you to plan an intelligent shopping!

Look for a budget retailer

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Always compare prices in all the retail stores in your locality. You will get one with a better pricing. Nowadays, some best supermarket stores in Botswana are coming out with pull outs and leaflets announcing their promotions every month. Many of the items on promotion are usually positioned on the top or bottom shelves while the top priced items in the middle shelves. While checking the labels, please consider the nature of packaging. Usually, generic cereals packed in plastic bags typically cost a pula less than the boxed variety.

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Check Flyers, Special papers….

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Flyers and special papers remain one of the best tools to check and compare prices while shopping in supermarket. It is a very effective way to know what is there in the offer for the weekends or month ends. Usually retailers publicise and advertise their best offers through the special papers every month, by checking it, you will come to know that what products are in the offer and it prices while entering the shop itself. It helps you to compare the prices of items of the supermarket chains in your vicinity and can make a smart shopping!

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Compare Unit Price Labels

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Looks can delude people! Consistently downsizing products or changing the look and shape of packs are a routine practice of many manufacturers. For instances, you may observe that fewer sheets in a roll of toilet papers or changing the shape of a fruit jam bottle and so on. Don’t confuse with these redesigned packaging. You must check the unit price per label to compare products. Retailers in Botswana usually listed the CPU (cost per unit) of items in the shelf sticker. By checking the CPU, you will not get distracted by fancy packaging.

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If the prices are right, Bulk Up!

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If you buy produce in bags rather individually, you are actually paying half the prices. This rule is applicable many to produce like onions, potatoes and canned items. Many Africa’s largest retail chains usually set a bulk section in their hyper and superstores. So always check the prices of bulk quantities and if the item fits your taste, go for it. Remember, buy exactly what you need! Don’t waste food.

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Perishables always available for reduced prices

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While purchasing perishables like fruit & veg, milk products and so on, you can save a lot because there are always offers for these products and the prices for many of these items might have reduced by half. These items need to be used immediately. Large Botswana retailing firms often mark down items like mushrooms, bananas and apples, all which will still be perfect to use if cooked the same day or next day. They do the same for dairy items especially the expiry dates of these products nearing.

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After announcing mixed results as part of its 2016 annual results, when it said like-for-like sales fell by 4.5%, Botswana-based Choppies has said that it will continue to expand across all countries in which it operates.

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JSE and BSE listed multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer Choppies released its results for the six months ended 31 December with revenue up 34 per cent and gross profit up 28 per cent. Ramachandran Ottapathu, CEO of Choppies joins CNBC Africa for more.

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Botswana retailer Choppies now has more stores in South Africa than in its home country, and is very nearly selling as much merchandise in each country.

In the last six months of 2017 its now 88 stores in SA sold 2.13 billion pula (around R2.7 billion) worth of stock, results released on Thursday showed. That is just 7.5% short of the turnover from its 85 stores in Botswana.Read More

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