CARGILL has ceased all operations at its soybean crush and vegetable oil refinery in Lusaka, throwing 260 employees on the street.
According to a statement issued yesterday, the “difficult decision” was made owing to illegal imports of vegetable oil from neighbouring countries that had continued to have a significant negative impact on the Zambian crush and vegetable oil industry.
“Alongside a smaller than anticipated Zambian soybean crop this year, these factors make it no longer possible for Cargill to operate the business in an economically viable way. Unfortunately, the closure means approximately 260 employees will be impacted, as their roles are no longer required. Cargill is committed to working to minimize the impact for employees in line with the country’s labour laws and all affected employees have been notified,” the statement read.
“From November, Cargill will begin mothballing the facility in a safe and responsible way. Approximately 45 employees will be retained in essential roles to ensure the safety, maintenance and operational integrity of the site. In line with the decision to cease its crush and refinery operations, Cargill is exploring options for the future of its business in Zambia.”