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There are a number of challenges on the horizon. The rising cost of raw materials is a big issue for a company that has to keep prices as low as possible, and to add to the pain infl ation is running at between 10 and 12 percent. " Our currency has also depreciated in the last year," Bishop continues. " It was trading at 7.50 Rand to the dollar. It went to 10.50 and now it's trading at 9.54." Depreciation of the currency makes decision making diffi cult on items like cooking oil, some of which is imported. " How far forward do I buy, and what will happen to the currency?" Bishop said. " The economists can't even tell us what is going to happen, so how a businessman is going to make those decisions is anybody's guess. But there's no room for pessimism. In times like this you've just got to put your head down, be positive and move forward." - Editorial research by Jon Bradley called Samuel Hiepner- who's been in the snack industry for many years. He's 72 this year and will be retiring soon, but he's never missed a beat. Then, Melony Botef has worked for me for 10 years now and is like one of the family. She does our truck scheduling and knows the business like the back of her hand. These sorts of people are very important." Elzea Snacks June 09 www. bus- ex. com 57 " A lot of our suppliers have been with us for a long time and I don't like changing. It's a question of loyalty, a question of trust and a question of reliability. In the FMCG ( fast moving consumer goods) market you want a supplier who, if you suddenly run low on a product that is selling well, can react quickly"

Stillaplace 58 www. bus- ex. com June 09