Chief Executive Officer of Ekumfi Fruits and Juices Limited, Frederick Kobbyna Acquaah, has bemoaned the impact of negative narratives on domestic brands on the international stage.
Whether due to malice or political interest, he said negative stories are adversely affecting domestic companies in their quest to penetrate foreign markets – and as such run contrary to efforts to put Made-in-Ghana products on the map.
As trading on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) gathers momentum, he said it is important that the practice is nipped in the bud to enable producers take advantage of the free continental market.
“In October of last year, I travelled to the United States for an event where we sought to promote Made-in-Ghana products. I took samples of Ekumfi Juices with me, and many people who tasted them liked them. However, during my presentation many people looked it up online; and when it came to the time for questions, 90 percent of the questions were based on negative stories about the brand. I spent the entire time defending the brand from those accusations.
“Another instance was when a potential investor changed its mind about investing after hearing false news that we would be closing down. We are doing our part to promote Ghanaian products but these obstacles can stand in the way,” he bemoaned.
He said this to journalists after a tour of the company’s factory and farms, and added that: “In Ghana, you see premium products on the shelf and buy them because you like them; but out there, it goes beyond that. They look out for how it came about. That is why, for instance, for Ghana’s cocoa they questioned the child labour concerns. So, some of these negatives go a long way to affect our products”.
The CEO therefore appealed for the citizenry to refrain from such activities which drain investment from local brands and reduce their global appeal.
Ekumfi Fruits and Juices is a US$20million-valued company.