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Charka synergy

Safire Insurance Company Limited recently became the major shareholder of the country’s leading charcoal and briquette manufacturer (producer of the country’s first SABS-approved charcoal), Suiderland Charka, soon to become Charka Limited. With over four decades of successful fire-making to its name, the acquisition of Charka is an interesting balance of “good fires” versus “bad fires” that destroy timber plantations – Safire’s first area of insurance back in 1987, when the company started as a timber insurance co-operative. Safire CEO Pierre Bekker says, “It is primarily this synergy between plantation insurance against fire and the salvage of burnt plantations to be used for charcoal production that caught our attention. Finding raw material to consistently supply the charcoal and briquette manufacturing process at cost-effective prices is a major constraint in this business, and we believe that the association with Safire will allow this business to expand an already prominent brand.”

This symbiotic relationship is exactly the basis of Safire’s marketing and branding, which features mutually beneficial relationships that occur in nature. “It’s interesting to look at the history of the invention of charcoal briquettes,” says Bekker. “It was the working together of renowned automobile manufacturer Henry Ford, along with master-inventor Thomas Edison, banker and financier JP Morgan and one Ellsworth BA Zwoyer, who applied for a charcoal briquette patent in 1897, that saw the development of the commercial charcoal products we use today. We look forward to a mutually beneficial and prosperous relationship with the Charka team.”