"We are facing an atypical reality"

“Estamos perante uma realidade atípica”

For a year now, the pandemic has been shaking up various sectors of economic activity around the world. In Mozambique, the brewing industry is one of those that has been most affected, because the restrictive measures adopted by the government since the beginning, in March 2020, have shortened the hours of commerce and restaurants, and banned some establishments such as tents and discos as a way to avoid crowds.

And with these measures, business has not been flowing as before. Hugo Gomes, managing director of Cervejas de Moçambique (CDM), one of the largest and oldest brewing companies in the country, with more than 20 years, tells how the company has been dealing with the pandemic.

To what extent has the pandemic affected the Mozambique Beers company especially in production and revenues?

Although our liquidity is reasonably good, the closure of bars, shacks, discos, among others, has undoubtedly caused a considerable impact on our sales volume, so we think it is crucial that the Government approves a set of tax measures to alleviate the impact of Covid-19 on businesses, I am referring particularly to the IRPC, ICE and VAT.

It's also important to mention that the closure of these establishments, with special attention to the shacks, has caused more than 140,000 people to become unemployed, so we've been sensitized to this situation, and offered 100 tons of corn and manioc flour to minimize the impact on the affected people.

We think that, as happens in most countries, the Mozambican government should establish criteria for these establishments to reopen, as this would help to improve their conditions, as well as the lives of their owners and their dependents.

How did the company have to deal with the confinement?

Our priority has always been and continues to be the health and safety of our employees, therefore, since the outbreak of Covid-19 we have adopted a set of preventive measures in our facilities and implemented a series of internal actions aligned with the guidelines immanent by the Government.

In order to ensure the continuity as much as possible of our business, we have adapted our "modus operandi" to the new reality, with a considerable part of our employees now working from home, and for many months at our breweries, only the personnel whose functions cannot be performed remotely.

To what extent has CDM been able to reinvent itself to turn the scenario around?

We are facing an atypical reality, in which we are all obliged to appeal to our creative capacity and truly innovative mentality, and this is what we have been doing and instilling in our employees.

We also remember that this is not the first crisis that we have experienced, and as in all previous crises we will rise stronger, because we have with us the best professionals in the area. With them we can overcome any challenge and build a profitable and lasting company that continues to generate pride within all Mozambicans.

In terms of revenue and productive activity, what analysis does the MDC now make with the gradual reopening of the economy?

We think that the Government could be bolder and come forward with measures to support all companies, regardless of their apparent size or strength, in terms of taxes such as ICE, VAT and IRPC.

As for us, CDM, we will continue to satisfy the national and international market, we will further strengthen our social responsibility activities, creating innovative mechanisms to help our communities and protect the environment, we will continue to give our support to small businessmen and enter into more solid partnerships so that we can help in the development of the country.


More than ever, 2020 showed us that we should be cautious when it comes to future prognostics, anyway, we look at the present year, 2021, as a year of resumption of the growth trajectory that Mozambique had already accustomed us to, and we think that CDM will be an active player in contributing to the growth of our economy.

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