The existing Centres of Excellence offered customers the very best in product design, research and development. Those in the food industry segments have always received only the finest products available, manufactured in accordance with international food safety specifications and backed by unrivalled technical expertise.

John Morris, Managing Director of the Crown Foods Group says, “We believe that there is always more we can do for our customers. Today‟s customer has become more sophisticated; more demanding. They want and expect more in terms of customisation, „newness‟, quality and price”. Morris commented that it has been the vision to transform the existing Centres of Excellence into modern and superior facilities, making the group the leading ingredients supplier in Africa.

It has taken nearly seven years to build and resource the Crown Food Ingredients manufacturing operation in Cape Town and more recently they have upgraded the Chipkins Bakery Ingredients manufacturing operation in Johannesburg.

The biggest and most significant change for the Crown Foods Group was the decision to build the So Good Foods Sauces and Marinades Plant. Dawid Muller, Marketing Executive for the Crown Foods Group says: “This decision has further enhanced our vision to be self-sufficient and offer differentiated services to the industry”.

Coupled with these new facilities, Bidfood Technologies has employed highly technical and skilled staff who have lead the way in establishing associations with international principals. Morris says that these changes have enabled the company to take the lead on traditional competitors and it has placed them in a position to compete with globally renowned players and attracted new principals.

The Centre of Innovation, Design, and Technology can only be described as an “out of this world”, interactive, sensorial experience, stimulating the senses through visual, audio, tactile, taste and smell and leaving an everlasting impression of the Innovation and Technology we provide.

It is divided into various sections showing off technical competence, that our international principles have to offer, an innovation data base, a sensory evaluation pilot plant, processing capabilities and development expertise.

The facility includes separate, inter-leading, specialist pilot plant amenities for all the food sectors including, meat, convenience foods, sauces and condiments, dairy, and beverages.

Each of these pilot plants is equipped with the latest equipment which accurately emulates the scale of process in large operations. The facility is able to conduct factory trials in simulated conditions at a fraction of the cost normally experienced when testing in full scale operations.

The Theatre of Food will be used as a home base by various institutions and will be used as a facility for trade meetings including other Bidvest Group members, Universities and customers.

Morris says: “Our International principals have welcomed this initiative as it would not only serve as a base for their local activities but would also emulate the work they conduct in their own facilities”.

The principles will be linked via video conferencing facilities to the centre and also to all the trading branches in order to offer on-going audio visual support in the form of lectures, demonstrations, training, interactive workshops, meetings and general communication.

The facility is established in Cape Town to ensure close proximity to the product development centres for the major supermarket chains as well as many of the blue chip companies they service.

If you would like to make use of the facilities in Cape Town please contact your local sales representative or contact the Crown Food Ingredients Pilot Plant and Auditorium on 021 527 6100