The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC), Nana Agyenim Boateng says Ghana can turn its economy around by investing hugely in cocoa processing which has the potential of raking in substantial revenue to the country.
According to him, the demand for the Ghanaian brand of chocolate on the international market is high, therefore there is the need for Ghana to take advantage and generate huge amounts of revenue through the processing of all Ghanaian cocoa beans instead of exporting them in their raw state.
He said this on Wednesday during the launch of the Bar Chocolate, Handcrafted Chocolate pieces and variant of chocolate products by the CPC at the Tema Industrial Area.
Nana Agyenim Boateng said countries like Switzerland and Belgium have reaped substantial amounts of money from the chocolate industry with revenue from taxation on chocolate in Europe currently at US$14 billion.
“All these figures points to the fact that the country stands to gain from downstream processing of cocoa,” he added.
Nana Agyeinim Boateng informed that, according to research, “The continuous investments in the production of beans without commensurate downstream investments and promotion in finished goods will lead to the oversupply of beans and thereby low prices on the international market.”
In that regard, the CEO informed that the CPC had the requisite human resource to expand its operations and called on “the investing public to support us with funds to procure additional machines to augment the existing plant and machinery. This will enable us increase our downstream processing capacity and help reduce the volume of raw cocoa beans exported.”
He hinted that the launch constituted the first of many to be organized in the coming years as the company concluded work on other new products.
Launching the products, the Minister of State at the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Nurah Gyeile, observed the need for Ghana to position herself to reap its share of the huge profits being made by the chocolate industry worldwide.
Dr. Gyeile, who was speaking on behalf of the Minster of Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said, Ghana as one of the leading suppliers of cocoa in the world, should also become a leading supplier of premium chocolate.
“To achieve this, it is important that we add value to meet existing consumer demands and attract new ones by developing strategies which would position the golden tree brand as not just a desired dessert, but also as healthy option with its high premium cocoa content,” he stressed.
In appreciating the work of CPC in launching the product, the Minister said, “It is for this reason that I am encouraged by this launch which introduces to the world quality chocolate which is nourishing, healthy and attractively packaged.”
He promised Government’s support to CPC to help the company resolve all its production challenges in order to generate the kind of wealth expected for the country.
The first of the new products, the Golden Tree Premium Chocolate, consisted of six different types of milk chocolate with exotic nuts like macadamia, pecans, pistachio, almonds, walnuts as well as coconut and white chocolate.
The second, the Golden Tree Heritage Artisanal Chocolate, is an assortment of handcrafted chocolate pieces in six flavours with other varieties incorporated with cocoa nibs and peanuts.
The third, Golden Tree Nuttychoc, is a groundnut centered-chocolate dragees which comes as an alternative to the Golden Tree Pebbles with white, milk and dark chocolate varieties.