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Business News of Monday, 11 February 2008

Source: GNA

CPC produces more cocoa products for Valentine Day

Tema, Feb. 11, GNA- The management of Cocoa Processing Company (CPC) have assured the nation of more cocoa products in the system to celebrate this year's Valentine day.

Valentine's Day has been declared as a "Chocolate Day", by the Ministry of Tourism and Diasporan Relations to encourage more Ghanaians to patronize cocoa products as part of the nationwide campaign to urge Ghanaians to buy made in Ghana products. This year's celebration, which falls on Thursday, February 14, is expected to be held on the theme "chocolate, a gift of love and health".

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Tema, Madam Genevieve Pawar, Marketing Manager of CPC said in addition to its usual products, the Company has produced two new types of packages to coincide with the celebration of the day, which are suitable for presentation as gifts.

"In addition to our normal production, we have come out with about 100 metric tones of the hexagonal package in red pyramid boxes to enable majority of the people purchase some for their pals during the Valentine".

CPC produces varieties of products including Golden tree, Vitaco, Royale, pebbles, cocoa liquor, butter and cake among others, which is exported mostly to Europe and for the local market.

She said the quality of the products have won the company both local and international awards.

Touching on the springing up of cocoa processing factories in the country, the Marketing Manager assured of CPC preparedness to welcome competition in the industry since that would lead to an increase in production levels and quality.

Cocoa processing factories in the country at present are the ADM Cocoa in Kumasi, Afrotropic near the Spintex road, Accra, Barry Callebaut Cocoa Processing Company and Commodity Processing Industries both in Tema, while the sod was cut for another factory, "Cargill" also in Tema in July last year.

Madam Pawar stated that the competition would not pose a threat to the CPC, since all the other companies would have to purchase the raw cocoa beans from the Ghana Cocoa Board, which has the monopoly. "The competition is not going to be much of struggle because we have clients all over the world, in Europe, Asia and North America". The Marketing Manager however, indicated that differentiation and meeting of standards rather pose a challenge to them, which we have seriously worked at.

She described the springing up of the cocoa factories as collaborators rather than competitors as they all aim at a common goal of processing more cocoa beans to feed the world with cocoa products as well as creating more jobs in the country.

She said the company embarked on an expansion programme three years ago to increase its production level, which presently stands at 2,050 metric tones for all confectionary products.

The production capacity, which previously stood at 25,000 metric tones per annum, has shot up to 65,000 metric tones after the renovation programme.

Reacting to criticisms that the company's products were not affordable to the common people, Mad Pawar explained that apart from the cocoa beans purchased locally all other ingredients like milk powder, sugar, flavours and others that add value to the taste are imported, saying that the foreign exchange components contributes to the supposed high price.

She however, indicated that despite the price in the country, the company's products are of high quality and cheaper than the imported cocoa products.

The Marketing Manager said the company has produced "Royale", a cocoa powder product, which contains no sugar and very good for human health.

Concerning the company's by-products like the cocoa shells, which hitherto were being disposed off, Mad Pawar said now they are exported to the international Community to be used as mulch, while some are sold locally for the production of local soaps like "amonkye, and "alatasamina", and others, saying that, nothing goes waste at the factory.