Foreign chocolate import hits US$6m in 3yrs

…as CPC’s production capacity dwindles

The volume of foreign manufactured chocolates imported into Ghana since 2015 could be valued at US$6 million, according to the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC).

The situation, according to CPC, though threatens its Golden Tree chocolate brand, the company believes it would rely on its superior and high quality cocoa content than any other imported varieties on the market.

CPC’s Principal Market Research Officer, Mr. Francis Aloko, explaining exclusively to Goldstreet Business at the sod-cutting ceremony of the Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa Museum at Akropong Akwapim, Eastern Region, yesterday, admitted that the company’s main challenge is with its dwindling production capacity.

“Currently, CPC is under-producing at 1820 metric tonnes of chocolates and confectioneries, instead of a total installed capacity of 60,000 metric tonnes in all,” he said.

But Mr. Aloko said the decline in production capacity has not affected the quality of products manufactured by the company, as its brands are widely patronized especially in the sub region.

“What we need at CPC urgently are new additional machines, especially, wrapping machines to enable us set up extra production units to enable the company produce in large quantities. Already we are boosting marketing and sales by embarking on institutional marketing campaigns to churches, banks and several others to market our chocolate brand,” he said.

A check by the Goldstreet Business at major shopping malls in Accra, indicated that the imported chocolates which sell faster, are comparatively cheaper and mostly pegged at the same price with the Golden Tree chocolate brand.

A 100g bar of ‘Kingsbite’ chocolate costs between GHS8.0 and GHS10.0 in most shops whiles the imported brands also have same price tag or slightly higher than the GHS8.0 to GHS10.0.

Meanwhile, COCOBOD’s Public Affairs Manager, Mr. Noah Amenyah, said the phenomenon of foreign chocolate brands being imported into Ghana which has been ongoing for a long time, is good for the competition.

“We cannot place an embargo on chocolate imports; it brings some amount of revenue to the economy. What we can do as COCOBOD and CPC is to leverage on the already existing quality products we have in the sub region and other parts of the world,” he explained.

COCOBOD, Mr. Amenyah indicated, has sought to boost cocoa consumption through the inclusion of cocoa beverage drinks in the school feeding programme in basic schools.

“That’s one of the things we have to do to enable the CPC to produce more, through the production of cocoa products to feed pupils in hundreds of basic schools across the country in the school feeding programme”, he disclosed.

By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe

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