Suid-Afrikaanse Sentrale Ko-operatieve Graanmaatskappy Beperk (Sasko) is established and acts to stabilise prices as the central body for the storage, treatment, processing and orderly marketing of wheat; local government fixes wheat price at 22s.6d. per bag; domestic wheat production rises to 70%.
Sasko/Bokomo forms; acquires Messrs Daniel Mills & Sons Limited’s milling and Sunshine Bakery business in Cape Town; Sasko shareholders acquire Bokomo shares, giving the Co-operative a 27% Bokomo shareholding.
Sasko/Bokomo Central Co-operative Limited forms to drive sales by area
1948: Sasko/Bokomo relationship disintegrates; Sasko cancels agreement with Bokomo and both companies revert to independent operations; Sasko focuses on milling and baking with new 100-ton mill opening in Rondebosch.
Bokomo takes over Premier Food’s interest in Nulaid and merges operations with Lemoenkloof, buys Tydstroom in the Western Cape, and takes over Tongaat Hulett’s egg interests in KwaZulu-Natal to secure production in all provinces and market all its eggs under the Nulaid brand.
Brown bread subsidy and price control over bread and flour ends with deregulation of milling and baking industries; Bokomo opens modern slicing, packing and handling facility, enters joint venture with Uni-Quaker and erects plant to manufacture bread rolls for McDonalds.
Sasko continues diversification programme - gains interest in soy-based food production company Lebnor Foods; enters the maize milling industry by combining the activities of five major maize milling co-ops into a company called Amaizco, and obtains management control; enters co-operation agreement with Bakers, a division of National Brands, to access low-cost biscuit manufacturing market.
Sasko forms strategic international alliances to launch bromate-free, vitamin-enriched bread; obtains management control over Lebowa Bakeries, former Northern Transvaal, and full control of soy company, Lebnor Foods and Amalgamated Bakery and Catering Products.
Deregulation begins; control boards dissolve; SA agriculture returns to free-market situation; Bokomo renames feeds division Pioneer Feeds (Pioneer), then later Nova Feeds; Bokomo enters pasta industry.
Bokomo’s frozen foods range, Today, becomes market category leader; millers import wheat independently; Bokomo becomes a company; Sasko consolidates during a challenging year for the industry and changes from co-operative to company with shares at R240 each.
Sasko and Bokomo merge, known as Bokomo/Sasko and later as Pioneer Food Group Limited, with a focus on wheat and maize milling, production of bread, confectionery, breakfast cereals, pasta, eggs, broilers, frozen foods, animal feeds and packaging material; R3,5 billion per annum, earnings of R130 million, total assets of R1,54 billion and total fixed assets of R576 million.
Pioneer Foods acquires CPC Tongaat maize mills; the ProNutro, Maltabella, Kreemy Meal and Toddlers breakfast food brands; and a 37,5% shareholding and managerial interest in Ceres Fruit Juices (CFJ) incorporating the Liqui-Fruit, Ceres and Fruitree brands.
Pioneer Foods acquires 100% shareholding in CFJ; establishes joint venture with US-based food global HJ Heinz Company to manufacture Heinz ketchup products in South Africa (Heinz tomato ketchup, Heinz baked beans, Heinz two-minute noodles, Wellington’s chutney and the distribution of John West canned fish products); establishes Bokomo Botswana.
Pioneer Foods acquires Frucon Beverages, Moir’s, Western Cape rice brand Spekko, Golden Lay and Kwality Biscuits; establishes joint venture, Bowman Ingredients SA, with leading English wheat millers JAS Bowman and Sons; pays dividend of R100 million (43% higher than previous year); group share price rises by 100% from R5,25 per share to R14 just after year end.
Pioneer Foods signs with American PepsiCo Company to manufacture and distribute Pepsi-Cola, Diet Pepsi, Mirinda and 7-Up in South Africa; acquires Marmite, Bovril and Maizena brands with ownership extending to South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia and Mauritius; adds Redro and Peck’s Anchovette brands; and Belso’s United Kingdom Cereals, muesli and breakfast-foods specialists, to access UK and Scandinavian markets.
Pioneer Foods acquires Crossbow Brands (Pty) Ltd, which manufactures dried vegetables, and the assets of Savoury Foods; begins manufacturing Marmite and Bovril; prepares to list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.