During the citrus season, Beitbridge Juicing Company (Pvt) Limited is a hive of activity with trucks offloading oranges for processing at the plant.
But outside its core business, the company, located in Mabidi Village in Beitbridge District is bringing much-needed relief to the surrounding communities with its community-oriented projects.
From employment creation, water and sanitation, access to health, economic empowerment projects and others in the pipeline, the company is transforming the livelihoods of many in the area.
The company is not only providing employment to the Beitbridge communities but spread across provinces with over 2000 rural households benefiting under its fruit beneficiation programme.
Communities in Zaka, Mahusekwa, Mhondoro and Hwedza are among the beneficiaries of the project through the grove to glass strategy in the guava value chain.
Under this project, parent company Schweppes Holdings Limited has engaged communities with abundance of guava forests to pick guava fruit for juice and jam production at BBJ.
Mr Peter Ndou (63) who works at Luwade citrus farm that supplies oranges to BBJ says the company has been helpful to the community.
Mr Ndou has lived in Beitbridge for 35 years.
“BBJ is doing a lot for the community. If by chance the company closes then we are broken as a community because they have workers from the community.
“We can see a lot of changes here compared to prior to its opening in 2006,” said Mr Ndou.
During its peak period, BBJ directly employs about 150 people and most of them from the local community.
On a quarterly basis, the plant processes about 22 000 tonnes of oranges into concentrate for sale to other local companies and export market.
BBJ has managed to address one of the major challenges in the area, water shortages for both household uses and livestock.
Beitbridge District in Matabeleland South Province is one of the driest areas in Zimbabwe falling under ecological region five. Despite this, the district is the largest producer of cattle in the country.
But the region battles water shortages while vegetation for livestock can be limited due to moisture stress resulting in animal deaths.