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Business News of Friday, 7 August 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

1D1F: Coronavirus and stiff competition bites Eku Juice growth projections

Although many of the operational projections of Ekumfi Fruits and Juices Factory, producers of Eku Juice, have proceeded within expectations, the coronavirus pandemic and fierce competition on Ghana’s fruit juice market remain a challenge.

Managing Director of Ekumfi Fruits and Juices Factory, Fredrick Kobbyna Acquaah, said the company, however, is breaking ground to keep raw materials at a constant production to enable fruits processing all year round.

“We are a startup so we have just come. You know we are competing with stuff that is already in the market as juices but a least you check our box and the contents of our box and our process here… [and you know] that these are fruits that arrive here, are squeezed into the tubes and there is no contact, there is no additive, no preservative, no added sugar.

“But we have had to go to the market and compete with others that are there. It takes time for understand the difference between Eku Juice and the others,” he told journalists on Thursday, August 6, 2020, during a tour organised by its main financiers, Ghana Export-Import Bank (Ghana EXIM).

Touching on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, he said production has been cut down by one-third of targets and has taken a toll on export timelines.

“COVID-19 has slowed down our projections in terms of even our farming, our production and our marketing,” he said adding that before lockdowns in many parts of the world, market standardisation had been ongoing to export to Germany, the United Kingdom and other parts of the world.

The facility, one of the flagship programmes under the 1D1F has been described by agro-based think tank Alliance for Development and Industrialisation (ADI) as the biggest pineapple juice processing factory in West Africa.

It came under attacked after it was launched for being just a ruse by the Nana Akufo-Addo, however, last year, the Eku Juice, the pineapple-base juice from the factory went on sale.



Mr Acquaah explained that because the factory had a plan to keep producing at a sustainable and profitable rate, huge investments were made to ensuring constant raw materials.

Managing Director of the factory, Fredrick Kobbyna Acquaah, said the model, has been christened the ‘Ekumfi Model’ is a blend of both the out-grower and share-cropping model.

Speaking on one of the 19 farms that feed the factory in Cape Coast on Thursday, August 6, 2020, Mr Acquaah said a novel model has been developed to keep raw materials coming into the factory all year and at a cheaper cost.

Recently, Ekumfi Fruits and Juices Factory signed a strategic partnership deal with Central Fruits Processing Factory, a new citrus factory to build a complete fruits and juices hub.

Central Citrus Processing Factory at Abakrampa in the Abura Asebu Kwamankese of the Central Region is expected to bring relief to farmers in the area who have for a long time suffered from post-harvest losses.

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