The importance of local production 

The importance of local production 

‘Local is lekker’ is a term often used when referring to the support of locally produced goods. In conjunction with Proudly South African, this expression is meant to foster national pride and patriotism by encouraging South Africans to support homegrown enterprises.

Whether you have heard it at a local market while buying gourmet foods or seen it on some packaging at the supermarket, this is a phrase that we are all familiar with. It is an ideology that most people seem to share and try to uphold, which allows entrepreneurship and economic growth to prosper in Southern Africa.

However, to what extent do these values really hold true?

From our experience in flexible packaging, we have come across certain products that have continued to dominate the industry, and who seem to remain unchallenged in their market segments. While the products are of fair quality and the prices competitive, most of the product – to our knowledge – is imported. Of course, we understand that it isn’t possible, or even practical, to be able to produce everything in South Africa. However, if the same product can be produced locally at a competitive price, then surely this should be favoured over imports?

It should, and here’s why:

1. Our material is high-quality

Sun Plastics has years of experience in barrier film, with a world-class factory, and modern machinery. With BRC certification, we produce high-quality material under the most stringent hygiene/food safety standards that exist in the industry. Additionally, the materials that leave our factory floor are consistent because they are produced by us; they will therefore not vary like the materials that are sourced by various manufacturers and distributed by agents.

2. Our value chain is localised

Although some of the polymers we use are manufactured overseas (I.e., EVOH and Nylon), we also purchase a significant portion of our polymers from SASOL in South Africa. Other raw materials that go into our product are also sourced locally, while over 150 employees – from various Southern African countries – contribute towards our vision.

3. Our footprint is significantly lower

One of the benefits of producing within the region is that there are shorter lead times, while the shorter distance also means a lower carbon footprint. In a recent study, we compared the estimated delivery routes for two prominent distributors in South Africa. What we found is that the distance covered in delivering finished goods was between 7-10 times the distance that Sun Plastics needs to deliver the same products. Even though their pricing may fall within the same bracket, the hidden costs (e.g., environmental, economic, social) should also be taken into account.
The benefits of buying and manufacturing locally are too good to ignore. If possible you should consider local options. Sun Plastics offers not only the best local product but a product that is up to a global standard. Take a look at what Sun Plastics can offer you. Keep it local, keep it lekker.