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Clover unveils R40m visitor centre

| Marketing and Promotions

Clover Industries has launched its new visitors centre in Clayville, Midrand, in a move that is meant to make the company more appealing to the broader public and investors. The state-of-the-art green facility will open to visitors in February 2017 and it will give unique insights into the company’s bottling and packaging while also providing a product-tasting experience.

The new facility is worth R40 million, but the money spent on the overall project is R170m.

Speaking at the launch, chief executive Johann Vorster said the launch of the Clover Visitors Centre is the culmination of a two-year process that started with a vision to share the magic of their industry with the public at large. “We look forward to providing an educational experience to our visitors by bringing the story of dairy and of Clover to life,” he said.

The company also wants to reach out to school children and give them options in future should they want to pursue careers within the company.

“We didn’t have facilities like this before to bring our guests to. We specifically want to use it to reach out to the younger generation and scholars by introducing them to milk so that they can see how our operations work. We also want to have a programme of senior high school children to introduce them to milk and for them to explore possible job opportunities within the company in the future,” he added.

Construction of the facilities started in 2014 and took almost two years to complete.

The R40m centre allows guests to experience Clover’s milk and beverage bottling and packaging via educational tours to groups of between 20 and 40 people, twice a day, four days a week. The booking for prospective tourists will be conducted online through the company’s website. The R170m was spent on key projects including the centre itself, cold storage facilities, site infrastructure improvements and new access entrances.

The project had to overcome some challenges during the building phase, particularly in 2015. “Last year we had to overcome certain challenges. We had some difficulty in 2015 because of the capital, but we managed to continue and we are happy to present this facility.”

The building of the centre didn’t create jobs on a large scale. “We managed to create just more than 50 jobs and now we have employed around 15 people in this facility on a full-time basis,” he said. Overall, Clover employs 1 600 people and the complex in Clayville is home to a manufacturing facility, a modern warehouse facility and distribution centre.

The success of the Clayville centre could lead to Clover rolling out similar facilities at some of its operations in other parts of the country.

“We would like to see how this one goes, but we have other facilities in Queensburgh, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town - our three other main facilities. So this is a test phase,” said Vorster.

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