Production and export trends for Del Monte
1970 1980 1985 1990
Employment (numbers)6914 9506 0006 052Production (000 tonnes)9.3730.5053.32072.48Export sales:Canned pineapple (000 tonnes)6.2224.5144.4759.43Juice concentrate (000 tonnes)2.704.546.319.60Labour costs (% of totaloutput)10.49.38.57.1
Structure of employment for EAI
Employment 1970 1980 1985 1990 1992
Permanent (numbers)9619561 2601 2601 600Casuals (numbers)9001 3001 6301 9501 944EAI produces four main product ranges; namely body care, edible oils and drinks, detergents andindustrial products. The body care products include jellies, body cream, lotion, body sprays andtoothpaste's. Edible oils include cooking fats, oils and margarines. EAI also produces a range of fruit juices, spices and tomato sauces. The soap and detergent products include beauty soaps, general purpose bar soaps, detergent powder and non-soapy detergents.
External factors affecting export growth
Raw material problems
Del Monte's main raw materials are locally available and include fresh pineapples, sugar and water.The firm relies on its 10 000 acre pineapple plantation at Thika, about 50 km from Nairobi. The pineapple is a perennial plant which yields its first fruit 20 months after planting. Once planted, a pineapple plant can go on producing fruit for several years but the quality and size of the 'ratoons'deteriorate over time. Del Monte harvests only the first ratoon to avoid poor quality. The offcutsobtained during harvesting are then replanted. Because of the scanty rainfall in the area, Del Monteirrigates the crop to stabilize production. The firm relies heavily on imported fertilizers, fumigants, pesticides and hormones to achieve high yields and faster maturation.Some pineapple production activities are highly mechanized. The heavy investment in farm machineryand the cannery requires an expansion of the pineapple plantation. However, acquisition of more landhas become a critical problem in the firm's attempts to expand at its current location, due to rising population density and the attachment of local people to their plots. Further export expansion will thusdepend on the company's ability to acquire more land.EAI, on the other hand, relies heavily on imported inputs. In its early years of operation, the companyimported cotton oil seed from Uganda for the manufacture of cooking fats. Other edible oils rawmaterials were available in East Africa: coconut oils from Tanzania, palm oil from Zaire' groundnutsfrom Tanzania and tallow and sesame oil in Kenya and Tanzania. However, these are not produced inlarge quantities and it was uneconomical for EAI to acquire them from these sources. During this period, EAI had a storage capacity of just 800 tonnes. By 1992, the company had expandedtremendously hut locally available raw materials were still negligible and it had to rely on imported oilsand other raw materials. In recent years, the firm has been intensifying efforts to encourage domestic production of raw materials, especially sunflowers.