IN A BID to uplift small businesses, local fuel refiner and retailer Astron Energy, which holds the Caltex licence in South Africa and Botswana, has given Verigreen Packaging a contract and preferential funding. Picture: Henk Kruger African News Agency (ANA)
IN A BID to uplift small businesses, local fuel refiner and retailer Astron Energy, which holds the Caltex licence in South Africa and Botswana, has given Verigreen Packaging a contract and preferential funding. Picture: Henk Kruger African News Agency (ANA)

Fuel retailer Astron Energy awards Verigreen Packaging a contract and funding

By BR Reporter Time of article published Apr 6, 2021

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IN A BID to uplift small businesses, local fuel refiner and retailer Astron Energy, which holds the Caltex licence in South Africa and Botswana, has given Verigreen Packaging a contract and preferential funding.

The contract and funding were through Astron Energy’s development programme.

In a statement released yesterday, Astron Energy said instead of giving the contract to one of its regular suppliers, it had chosen to give the contract to a small business.

Astron Energy chief executive Jonathan Molapo said he believed that it was an obligation of every big enterprise to uplift smaller suppliers as a core part of their business model. He said the Enterprise Supplier development has provided more than R100 million in interest-free loans and credit lines over the past five years.

“It’s a genuine win-win - the small enterprise gets a foundation on which to invest and develop, and we get a sustainable, transformed local partner,” he said.

Verigreen MD Gareth Elcox said the partnership showcased how big companies can help smaller companies.

“This is a textbook example of how big businesses can partner with smaller ones for everyone’s benefit,” he said.

Astron Energy’s lubricants laboratory lead, Meshach Soonpall, described the relationship with Verigreen Packaging as a collaboration that delivers 200ml, 500ml, one-litre, and five-litre extrusion blow-moulded containers for Caltex lubricants and private labels.

“They have added massive value and are our go-to people for any specialised requirements or problem-solving on other product lines,” he said.

Elcox added that smaller businesses like Verigreen Packaging cannot gain significant traction and growth solely on a tender basis because the bigger and more established operators will always have lower costs: “This kind of programme is essential to enable SMEs to get guaranteed work which allows for capital investment.”

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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