Trout producer, Sanlei (Pty) Ltd was the biggest winner of the recent local exporters’ awards ceremony, taking home three accolades.
The third annual awards, which took place in Maseru are organised by the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) in partnership with Lesotho Post Bank (LPB).
The awards are meant to encourage local producers to tap into the wider global market to realise their full growth potential.
The awards recognise exporters under different categories including best-emerging brand, best market sustaining exporter, best innovative and versatile exporter, and best market diversifying and product exporter, and overall exporter of the year.
The producer of premium trout products, Sanlei won the best-sustaining exporter, best market and product diversifying exporter, and best-emerging exporter awards.
The company exports to the South African and United States (US) markets, while also selling to the local market.
It has been exporting its products since 2018, and the company owns a processing plant that is annually audited and certified under the international Food Safety FSC-22000 system.
The company is also said to be continuously training its staff on food safety standards, best manufacturing processes, and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP).
The overall exporter of the year award went to garments manufacturer, Iconics (Pty) Ltd.
The best innovative and versatile exporter award went to African Clean Energy (Pty) Ltd, while the best-emerging brand award was received by Liberation Clothing (Pty) Ltd.
Speaking during the ceremony, LNDC interim chief executive officer, advocate Molise Ramaili, said the awards recognise the best performances and businesses that have distinguished themselves in exploiting the global markets.
“As an export-led economy, a strong export performance and private sector-led industrial growth are vital to the health of Lesotho’s economy, the annual exporters’ awards are one of the most important events in the annual calendar for LNDC, and other national stakeholders in export promotion,” Ramaili said.
“These awards ceremony provides an opportunity for LNDC to interact face-to-face with private sector companies that are the backbone of this nation’s economy.”
Ramaili further said the awards are envisaged to inculcate a competitive spirit among the local exporters.
They are also an incentive to encourage the exporters to improve their business performance and come up with innovative market access strategies, he said.
Last year’s overall winner, Jalaad which produces the Zeri leather brand, also won the regional exporter of the year award, they were competing against winners from eight countries.
The exporter’s awards are supported by the USAID Africa Trade and Investment (ATI) and are the result of the partnership between LNDC and the USAID Trade Investment Hub (Trade Hub).
The Trade Hub is a US-government-funded project that is mounted to capacitate increased and improved participation of Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) beneficiary countries that are trading with the United States (US) and South Africa.