Lato to be the largest dairy in Africa

Launched just seven years ago, Lato Milk is now one of the country’s leading dairy companies. The Managing Director, Mr…spoke to Investment Review Publications about their operations.

Briefly, what is the historical background of Lato Milk Ltd?

Lato Milk was established in 2012 in the milk-rich district of Mbarara with the aim of helping the local dairy farmers to sell their produce. Today, we have a production capacity of 800,000 litres a day – putting us among the largest dairies in Uganda.

What is your product portfolio currently?

We manufacture milk powder, long-life UHT milk, flavored milk, butter, ghee and butter oil.

What is your assessment of the market for your products over the last few years?

There is a demand for quality products in the markets we operate in. With our state-of-the-art milk manufacturing facility, we adhere to local and international standards. Our products are well accepted by the consumers.

How optimistic are you about the BUBU strategy that the Government is implementing?

We are very excited about the BUBU initiative as it will increase consumption of locally-manufactured goods, which in turn will increase job opportunities and support economic growth.

What were your impressions about the first ever BUBU Expo held at the beginning of March?

It was organized really well and had great public participation.

What are some of the main challenges that the dairy sub- sector in Uganda is facing currently?

Tax (VAT) on processed milk makes it cost prohibitive for consumers to consume safe quality milk and instead they consume raw milk, which has multiple health risks. Farmers need support in terms of accessing finance to improve the infrastructure on their farms especially in regard to clean water and irrigation to manage the weather seasonality.

What advice would you give to the authorities?

To scrap VAT on the sale of processed milk and to provide access to capital at an affordable cost to farmers.

How have you managed to deal with the stiff competition?

The dairy industry in Uganda has multiple players with whom we compete on a level playing ground.

To what extent have you harnessed the export market?

We are the largest exporter of Ugandan dairy products and we believe we will continue to look for markets within Uganda as production capacity increases.

Where do you see Lato Milk in the next few years?

We see Lato Milk becoming the largest dairy in Africa.

Your last word to your customers?

We will continue to invest in technology and machinery and to ensure that we provide the safest quality products to our consumers.