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Forest Fairies Sweet Company (Pty) Ltd   


Forest Fairies is a family-owned sweet business that manufactures a variety of confectionery including nougat, peanut and chocolate-coated products. Having started business as a sole proprietor in 2003, the business registered as a private company in 2013, with a factory area of 600m2, supplying large hotel groups and hotels in Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban.

The challenge

Having lost one of its major clients, Forest Fairies turned to Seda to assistance to improve its business operations, and identified weaknesses that were preventing it from delivering quality products and growing.

Seda intervention

As assessment of the business was undertaken by a Seda Business Advisor. A costing and pricing exercise commenced to ascertain the exact cost to produce each individual type of sweet so as to establish the correct pricing. This revealed that some product lines were in fact under-priced and therefore loss bearing. At the same time it was established which product lines were the most profitable. ISO 22000 Food Safety standards were implemented, providing a framework within which to address process flow, product quality and maintenance and to manage wastage.

The outcome 

  • A pricing system was implemented taking into account products costs and production capacity and this now forms the basis for financial target planning;
  • The implementation of ISO 22000 resulted in improved process flow, a verifiable system for quality management and a decrease in wastage from 5% to 1%;
  • Training employees in the ISO 22000 system improved skills and resulted in all employees becoming conversant with the entire manufacturing chain, from start to finish;
  • The business was able to sustain all 43 jobs over the period; Average annual turnover increased from R6, 204,612 to R7, 539,168, an increase of just over 20%.

Advice to other SMMEs

“If you have a business idea, approach your local Seda office for assistance in starting your business and implementing efficient business processes”, says Thejes.