As part of its expansion plans, Ekumfi Fruits & Juices Limited is set to step-up production to satisfy demands of the local market and begin exporting to the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK) and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
It also intends to introduce about three new products to the already existing five-product line on the market.
Director of Operations at Ekumfi Fruits and Juices Limited, Frederick Kobbyna Acquaah, disclosed this to journalists after a tour of the facility and its farms.
He reiterated that the move is in line with efforts to meet demand for the pure, unadulterated pineapple juice on those markets; and hopefully will help sell Ghana on the international market. “We have done all the preparatory work and are now working on our export documents, and by middle of the year we will begin exporting to those markets,” he said.
“This year, we are going to see the crystallisation of most of the things we did last year. Our production capacity is going to step up, and this will translate into a double or triple shift. This means an increase in the workforce because of the export dimension coming in. Currently, the company has more than 1,000 workers who work mostly on the farms and about 75 professionals at the factory level. This stride will translate to direct and indirect jobs out there,” he added.
Mr. Acquaah also noted that the new markets – US, UK and UAE – have necessitated the need to increase farm sizes. In view of this, the farms are being expanded to 6,000 acres and subsequently 12,000 to meet the increasing demand for pineapple supply to the factory and toward sustainability. Currently, the company has about 3,000 acres of pineapple in cultivation on its own farms – located at Obri in Gomoa West, Ekumfi Sardo near Otuam, and Ekumfi Edumafa.
Mr. Acquaah also took the opportunity to debunk claims that the company had collapsed, clarifying that it produces in response to demand in order to achieve the greatest possible economies of scale.
He said Ekumfi Fruits and Juice Ltd. is poised to champion the industrialisation agenda and positively impact social and economic lives. He added that as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, the company has put together a scholarship scheme in collaboration with educational institutions to award scholarships for the people of Ekumfi and beyond.
Mr. Acquaah also took the journalists around the US$10million Central Citrus Processing Limited – a factory his outfit is mentoring – at Abura Aseibua in the Abura Aseibua Kwamankese district.
He said the factory will process citrus oil from the peel of oranges for export, while Ekumfi Fruits and Juices Limited uses the pulp for citrus juice. The factory, which is located in the citrus production enclave, will help address the post-harvest losses of citrus produced in the area and boost local economies of the surrounding towns.
The Ekumfi Fruits and Juice Factory is a US$20million-valued company under government’s flagship programme, One District-One Factory. It is a wholly Ghanaian-owned company and has one of the most modern, automated agro-processing plants in the country.