British International Investment

Zambeef Products PLC

Southern AfricaFood & Agriculture

As Zambia’s largest integrated agribusiness, Zambeef is an iconic company within Zambia and the wider Southern African region. The group is vertically integrated, operating its own arable farms which produce, process, and distribute beef, chicken, pork, milk, dairy products, eggs, stock feed and flour.

Zambeef’s chain of 170 plus retail outlets is making affordable and quality animal protein widely available to consumers through a modern retail network; the network operates across the country, including in areas which lack access to other formal retail providers.

The company employees over 6,000 people directly, and creates many thousands more jobs throughout its supply chain, making it one of the country’s largest employers.

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

In 2016, CDC invested $65 million in Zambeef Products plc, our first direct equity investment in Zambia since the early 2000s.

The investment combined a 17.5 per cent direct equity stake and the remaining as a structured instrument.

Our investment is enabling Zambeef to grow the business, in particular its cold chain food processing businesses, as well as expanding its distribution and retailing platform within Zambia and neighbouring countries.

Expected impact

Expected impact of investments made between 2012 and 2018. From 2019 onwards, we have published a fuller set of impact information, assessing each investment against six dimensions of impact.

Half of Africa’s workforce works in the agriculture sector and agribusinesses can support up to six jobs in the supply chain for each direct worker.

Zambeef sources most of its input locally from its own operations as well as a network of smallholder farmers, including 70 per cent of its cattle and around 80 per cent of its grain. This provides a much-needed market for over 10,000 small-scale farmers.

Farmers also benefit from Zambeef’s various extension services such as advice on increasing yields and caring for livestock. The company also provides up-to-date price information and help in treating cattle diseases in remote areas.

Micronutrient deficiencies affect more than 2 billion people worldwide. Zambeef’s shops are spread across the entire country and are often the only outlet to buy quality meat and animal feed products.

Cross-border traders from remote regions in Tanzania and the DRC also rely on Zambeef macro-stores to buy produce. The average customer in these countries has a household income of about £30-£50 per month and walks up to 30 minutes to get to a store.

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    June 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.


    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).


    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.

    Southern Africa

    The countries where the investment delivers impact. Where impact is delivered in multiple countries, this is indicated.


    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    Food & Agriculture

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Start date :
    September 2016
    Amount :
    Currency of investment :

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.


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