A number of blue-chip companies in the country rely on Matna Foods Company Limited for their industrial starch. Blue-chips are firms that are widely known, well-established and financially sound. Many blue-chips use starch in the manufacture of biscuits, confectionery, toothpaste, food seasonings, mosquito coils and batteries, sandwiches and canned fruits. Starch is also key in the production of caramel, which often serves as colouring agent for food, confectionery and liquor products, according to Food and Agricultural Organisation( FFAO)’s Document Repository.
Some of these well-known companies, which get their starch from Matna Foods, are Unilever plc, Nestlé Nigeria plc and Uac of Nigeria plc. Blue-chips such as May & Baker Nigeria plc, Fan Milk plc, Ayoola Foods, Oyin Holdings Limited, Doyin Group of Companies, among others, are also clients to tis firm.
Matna Foods is a Nigerian manufacturing outfit, whose business is to process cassava roots into industrial Starch and allied products. It was formed by Joseph Sanusi and late T. W. Cho, a South Korean and was registered in 1998.
It commenced full operations in 2002 at its factory, located in Akure, Ondo State, and has since remained one of the leaders in the Nigerian cassava industry. Real Sector Watch gathered that blue-chips prefer Matna’s industrial starch owing to quality processing guaranteed by state-of-the-art machinery used during the process.
‘’Another reason is prompt delivery,’’ said a high-profile manager in one of the firms, who pleaded anonymity.
Again, industry watchers say the firm is patronised by a number of industries in the continent and beyond. Others attribute patronage of the firm’s product to its high level of purity, excellent thickening characteristics and bland taste.
FOA says Nigerian cassava production is by far the largest in the world; a third more than production in Brazil and almost double the production of Indonesia and Thailand. Analysts say the Federal Government has done a lot to boost the cassava sector, but add that manufacturers must make good use of it in the production of products such as beer. For instance, Sabmiller, the second largest beer maker in the world, has unveiled cassava beer in Ghana called ‘Eagle’ , a value brand tailored to local tastes. It also has another cassava beer product in Mozambique called Impala. They say more use of cassava in industries this will help local farmers, while increasing employment and income of Nigerians, adding that quality processing must not be sacrificed in the process.