CPC to establish factory outside free zones enclave

…eyes domestic market with affordable products

COCOBOD CEO, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, has disclosed that plans are far advanced to enable the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC) to manufacture its products outside the free zones enclave in order to make prices of its products affordable on the domestic market.

He observed that chocolate and other confectioneries manufactured by the company are somehow expensive due to the company’s free zones status.

“Whatever product we manufacture in the enclave is exportable and attracts taxes and that is what is affecting prices of local chocolates,” Aidoo told the Goldstreet Business in an exclusive interview.

“We have discussed with our board and the approval has been given to let CPC establish another factory outside the free zones enclave to focus on local consumption and when that happens, the prices of chocolates and other products of the company will come down,” Aidoo explained.

Currently, 100 grams of Golden Tree chocolate, produced by the CPC, sells at between GHS10.00 and GHS12.00 which price Aidoo believes could be brought down once a factory is set outside the free zones enclave.

Explaining further, the COCOBOD chief noted that though the cocoa industry worldwide is currently valued at US$120 billion, Ghana’s share is a meagre US$2 billion.

Instructively, Ghana, Aidoo noted, accounts for almost 30 percent of global production of cocoa beans and this situation is, therefore, not the best, he observed.

“We can’t continue to take US$2 billion share of US$120 billion. Last year, for instance, Ghana’s share was actually US$1.3 billion and that is discouraging.

“Ghana, as a major player in the industry, must endeavor to take its fair share of value in the industry estimated to hit US$150 billion in the next three years,” he indicated.

Adding, he said “if we want many people to buy cocoa products, then we must locally develop the consumption here thereby taking more of the stock out of the international market. With that, the price dynamics will change and our farmers can get better prices.”

By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe

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