Innovation: Nutrition packs provide a meal for just R1,50

2008-06-08 00:00

A NUTRITIOUS meal at R1,50? Surely, too good to be true, I thought when I read the spiel by Maxi-Mix Foods.

But my scepticism was allayed when I met the proprietor of Maxi-Mix Foods, Stefan Schutte, a farm boy from Richmond who is on a mission to provide affordable nutrition.

His contention is simple, namely that the institutionalised supply chain is making food too expensive for a growing army of people.

Schutte founded Maxi-Mix Foods as a licensed manufacturer of highly nutritious food products that have been developed over the past 15 years by a Cape Town-based company.

His business is to repack the range of products including mince gravy, soup, and muffin meals into single servings and family packs.

Much as this part of the business is growing, Schutte’s vision changed when he found himself at the coalface of deepening poverty and growing hunger.

“Suddenly, we find ourselves in the business of affordable nutrition, where cents are converted into nutrition,” he said.

Schutte is able to supply a highly nutritional meal at R1,50 per person, or a family pack of 30 meals that will feed four adults for R178,50. In all instances, a serving of rice accompanies the soya-based mince gravy that comes in a range of flavours.

On a similar theme, Maxi-Mix Foods has launched a meal voucher system aimed specifically at the welfare sector that makes for easy fundraising, and ensures that money raised is indeed used for poverty alleviation.

“Every R500 voucher buys 400 well-balanced and nutritional meals that will be distributed to those in need,” he said.

To this end, Schutte appealed to the private sector to help shoulder the burden of affordable nutrition by sponsoring meals through the Maxi-Mix Foods feeding scheme.

“We are inundated with requests for assistance from crèches, schools and orphanages, and we just don’t have the resources to meet the demand,” he said.

Schutte proposed a “winning arrangement” whereby companies may undertake to feed a needy institution.

“We will do all the administration and running around, if only we can have the product funded,” he said.

He can be contacted at 082 325 6666 or e-mailed at

Snouts and troughs

MEDIA reports suggest that the defenders of our democracy are worried about their future and want to secure a comfortable retirement in the event of being booted out for poor delivery.

Parliamentarians apparently are keen to vote themselves fat pension pay-outs, that, according to Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, the treasury simply cannot afford.

Our esteemed leaders are naturally peeved by Manuel’s comments and want a word with the man.

As for suggestions that it’s only ANC cronies wanting to cash in, reports suggest that members of all political parties have united in a quest for personal enrichment.

Tourism travails

DON’T you just love the way statistics are disingeniously manipulated for political ends?

Consider the breathless claims by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism that nine million foreign tourists touched down in South Africa last year, compared with the 600 000 in pre-1994.

The problem is that the figure includes arrivals from Lesotho, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Our neighbours may be economic migrants, but tourists they certainly ain't, something DEAT just don’t seem to understand.

uMshwathi rumblings

HAVING stayed under the radar over the recent past, rumblings from the Wartburg area suggest all in not well in the uMshwathi Municipality.

At issue are allegations of poor governance, exorbitant spending on talk shops at exclusive venues, and catering bills for the municipal high and mighty that would feed an entire school.

Of particular concern are suggestions that the personal finances of some officials leave much to be desired, so much so that questions about their professional ability to manage municipal budgets are being raised.

Watch this space.

Eskom exports

WE’RE trying to make sense of a Statistics SA report that electricity exports increased 6,1% during the first three months this year, a time of unprecedented power shortages.

Statistics SA also said that power consumption dropped 3,2% in March, compared with last year, and that the estimated volume of electricity consumed in the first quarter of 2008 was down 0,9% compared with last year.

This represents less than a tenth of the 10% saving Eskom requested to stave off further cuts, and we brace ourselves as we head for winter.

Cyber help

EVIDENCE of excellence is growth, as is the case of the Word of Mouth electronic newsletter that is circulated every two weeks.

Now in its 71st edition, the newsletter is a mine of useful information, including what’s on and what’s happening in KwaZulu-Natal on all sorts of fronts.

So much has it grown that the woman behind Word of Mouth, Steffie Betts, has had to place it on a dedicated website Check it out.

Hum no more?

WHAT bets that the days of the Hummer are numbered?

General Motors said it was undertaking a strategic review of the brand, from revamping the product portfolio to selling the brand, and that “Hummer is part of a larger corporate plan to reduce large commercial vehicle and SUV capacity in the U.S.”.

And we thought the fuel price played a role in the decision!

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