Some fruit juice producers in Ghana have lamented that their products are rejected by some supermarkets and other big shops in the country.
Although they failed to list names of some of the supermarkets complicit in the matter, they said such shops prefer to stock their shops with imported European products.
This comes on the back of a report by the Goldstreet Business newspaper that Ghana imports about US$150 million worth of fruit juice each year, while fruit juice processing factories in the country are said to be collapsing.
The report indicated that, only US$ 40 million worth of juice representing 28 percent of total domestic demand, is produced in the country, while some local producing factories including Coastal Groove in the Central Region, Coco Bean also in the Central Region, Sunripe in the Eastern Region, Premium Kingdom in the Volta Region, Pinora, Blue Skies and Fruity Land, are all said to be operating under 10 percent capacity.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday, the fruit processor, who wished to remain anonymous, said government must form a task-force to ensure that supermarkets stock their shops with a percentage of Ghanaian products.
“What the government can do to help us is to sensitise the citizens about buying made in Ghana products. That’s the first step. There have been so many products from the European Union in the market that nobody wants to even taste made in Ghana goods anymore. And I don’t blame them because the big shops and big supermarkets these days don’t want to take the made in Ghana products anymore. Most of them want to buy the products from their countries so that they can send the money back to wherever they came from. So they don’t see the point in buying products made in Ghana.”
“I don’t know whether they don’t want to support our industries, but I think that is what government needs to check. I think government can ensure that most of the shops and supermarkets should take a certain percentage of products made from Ghana. I don’t know whether there should be a task-force to check that,” he added.
He wants government to stop supermarkets from importing products such as sugar, fruit juice, toothpick among others that could be produced by Ghanaians locally.
“…If you go to some supermarkets in Ghana, you will find out that most of the products they sell are not even made in Ghana. Some of them we can make them right here in Ghana when it comes to the sugar, fruit juices, toothpick and common things that we can do in the country, you find that they are all imported which is very bad for the economy and job creation. They prefer to buy the products coming from Europe because they think it has more quality but that is wrong. Because the same machine they are using there are the same ones we use here. So we have to change that mentality and the shop owners have to be ready to receive our products when we bring it to them,” the fruit processor added.
Fruit processing industries to collapse if…
In a related development, the Director of Corporate Affairs at Fruit Processing Company, Blue Skies, Alistair Djimatey, has warned that several local fruit processing companies risk collapse due to inadequate raw material, if no conscious effort is made by government to rescue the situation
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Alistair Djimatey said, “we have the capacity to produce enough for the entire country but the fact is that we don’t have the raw material to process and there are several factors that are militating against the production of these raw materials. If you look at pineapple, for instance, we used to have about 36 farms in this country but currently, we have just about six farms. And several government policies and land tenure system challenges have contributed to the collapse of some of these businesses.”
“It is very true that some might collapse because what is the essence of the factory when you don’t have raw material to collapse. The challenge has to do with the availability of raw material. I can tell you if nothing is done to improve pineapple production to ensure that we get the right quality and yield from our mango and even other fruits that we have in this country most of these businesses are in danger of collapsing,” he added.