TO MEET the anticipated increase in demand for its confectionery in SA, the Ferrero Group plans to increase production and employ more people, the company said yesterday.

“Although we are at the very early stages, the South African factory is starting to strengthen its foundation,” the Ferrero Group told Business Day.

The maker of Nutella, Kinder and Tic Tacs opened its 9000m² production facility in Walkerville, Gauteng, in June 2009.

Between the company’s manufacturing and commercial division, it employs 380 people in SA. In the past five years it has opened factories in Cameroon, India, Russia and Canada.

The company is aiming to set up a large scale hazelnut industry, and through its subsidiary, Agrisudafrica, Ferrero imported over 450000 plants from South America. As most of its products use hazelnuts, the group is working on trial sites to verify the suitability of climatic and soil conditions for hazelnut cultivation.

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