The country is of particular importance to Bühler for its customers and Bühler plans to expand its business there as well as to other African nations. To commemorate the anniversary, a special event, celebrating milestones and special memories between Bühler, its customers and staff, was held in Johannesburg.
Bühler South Africa boasts some of the biggest names in fast moving consumer goods sector in South Africa as its customers. There is also a variety of customers in the whole of Southern Africa. Harry Bloechlinger, managing director, Bühler Southern Africa, said, “We partner with the biggest FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) companies all over South Africa. FMCG companies are the basic pillar of the economy of the region. And together with them we ensure food supply to more than 200 million people.”
Veronique Haller, deputy head of Mission at Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa, said, “Switzerland and South Africa enjoy a very good economic and trade relationship. That relationship partly goes back almost a hundred years ago. Swiss companies are not only contributing to the growth of the South African economy but also has many programmes in terms of skills development, community programmes, and they contribute to the economic transformation of the country.”
Currently, Bühler South Africa has 220 employees in various departments: project execution, finance, human resources, sales, industrial engineering, IT, procurement, shipping and logistics and customer service. The company also has a fully operational manufacturing facility, employing boilermakers, welders, machine operators, and painters. Bühler also runs an apprenticeship program which is adapted from the Swiss education system.
To commemorate Bühler’s success in South Africa a celebration was held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Sandton, Johannesburg, on March 18, 2022. Dr Mpho Phalatse, mayor of Johannesburg, said, “We celebrate the presence of businesses such as Bühler, we celebrate their contribution towards building our beautiful city of Johannesburg. And we celebrate their growth. Today it’s their birthday, so it signals growth. But not only growth for the company but growth for our city because when they grow, we also grow.”
Future aspirations and plans
Building on its success in South Africa, Bühler plans on expanding other business units besides Milling in the region. Stefan Scheiber, Bühler CEO, said, “In the long term, the market of South Africa, including the neighbouring countries, will double its inhabitants to 400 million people by 2050. This is our motivation and reasons for Bühler to continue strengthening our organisations in South Africa but also in Southern Africa, as we continue to live our vision: innovations for a better world.”
The company has a focus on food processing technologies as well as value services, including digitalisation; also education and training plays a key role going forward. Bühler has a drive to increase business opportunities into other regional countries such as Angola, Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi. India has recently been added to the MEA region as part of Bühler’s South-South-strategy, now being MAI, (Middle East, Africa & India) so the company foresees further collaboration and opportunities within this scope.