Zambeef Products PLC

East Africa,Africa Food and 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

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

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.

Environmental and social aspects

We are working closely with the company to further improve their health, safety and environmental management system. We are also supporting the company through our Resource Efficiency Programme to identify opportunities across the business for energy and water efficiency and renewable energy interventions.

Key facts


Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

Africa, East Africa

We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people.

Food and agriculture
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

Direct Equity
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date British International Investment committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that British International Investment committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

September 2016

For direct investments, this is the total amount that British International Investment has committed to the business or project (it may be a combination of equity and debt).

For funds, this is the total amount that British International Investment has committed to the fund.


This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.


We are now British International Investment