Farmer’s Market, an upscale vegetable retail outlet that seeks to promote safe and hygienic fruit and vegetables for a growing health-conscious middle class, opened its fourth and largest retail outlet in East Legon, a residential Accra suburb last week.
This feat comes three years after its first retail outlet was opened in Tema’s Community 11, followed by another in Community 25, and then subsequently, in Labone, a high-end residential area of Accra.
The brief ceremony saw the Right Reverend, Thomas Brown Forson, the Methodist bishop for the Tema Diocese and Kwesi Korboe, an agribusiness consultant with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) perform the opening and sod-cutting of the modern vegetable retail supermarket.
According to Bernard Amponsah, Retail Manager of Farmer’s Market, the company stands for what he describes as the Four A’s. These are Assurance, Availability, Affordability and Accessibility. Assurance that the vegetables are sourced from hygienically produced sources, and are also available at each of their four outlets, are affordable and are intended to be at every locality for easy access.
The company is also to serve as a marketing outlet for local vegetable and fruit producers in the country who produce high-quality, safe and hygienic fruit and vegetables for healthy lifestyles. Mr. Amponsah explained that the aim of Farmer’s Market is provide healthy living in a friendly shopping environment, hence particular attention is paid to the siting of their retail branches around high-end residential areas of Accra.
Their target is to provide the widest range of fruit and vegetables available in one shop. Farmer’s Market started out as fruit and vegetable farmers for the export market, and after years exporting fruit and vegetables from Ghana, Abeiku Whyte, the brain behind Farmer’s Market, decided to fill a void in the agriculture value chain which is marketing. Post-harvest losses are ranked as high as between 40-50 percent of harvest, hence he decided to open up retail outlets in key residential areas of Accra to provide proximity for consumers of fruits and vegetables which is increasingly becoming an essential diet for health-conscious Ghanaians and foreigners alike.
He told B&FT that next in line is a branch opening at Spintex in the coming days, and Mr. Whyte’s determination proves that with the right focus and planning, agribusiness can be a worthwhile venture to pursue, citing how when he started producing fruits and vegetables, he found it difficult to access credit from commercial banks, but with his success in export and retail trade in fruits and vegetables, commercial banks are now ‘chasing’ him for business.