Golden Exotic expands to meet market demand


Golden Exotic Limited (GEL), the largest grower and exporter of bananas and pineapples in the country, has set in motion a series of concrete steps aimed at expanding its plantation to include other fruits in a bid to meet market demands, its Managing Director, Benedict John Rich, has said.

Speaking at the company’s 20-year anniversary launch in Accra, Mr. Rich explained that the expansion is necessary due to the significant decrease of pineapple production in the country.

“Following the significant decrease of pineapple production in Ghana, Golden Exotics has been forced to diversify. We currently have a programme to plant other crops and irrigation systems are now being put in place, but we have taken advantage of our other expansion,” he noted.

Mr. Rich explained that the new plantation at Togome, which is the first banana-farm on a new site, is a very interesting development for the company. The planting began in October of last year, and the company is expecting to harvest in the next few weeks.

“In June of this year, according to the rhythm of planting, we will reach a very significant milestone of 2000 hectares (ha) of bananas planted in total. Not only that, but this year we are projected to produce, for the first time, over 100,000 pallets,” he said.

He emphasised the need of taking significant steps to protect the company’s market, particularly in the United Kingdom. He therefore tasked the company’s Fair Trade (FT) committee to invest in projects that will generate future funds.

He added that GEL remains committed to sustainable policies: including decent work, respect for the human rights of all employees, health and safety, respect for the environment, responsible sourcing, and best international practices. In 2017, the company launched a gender equity initiative aimed at improving the quality of working conditions for women and increasing the number of women employees within the company. Mr. Rich noted that the company will continue exploring opportunities to empower women employees.

Additionally, corporate social responsibility has always been a priority for GEL, and the company has extended its commitment to communities surrounding its plantations.

Looking into the future, Mr. Rich said: “I can say from my position it looks very promising”. He added that although challenges will come along the way, he believes the company will overcome them as and when they arise.

The Vice President of Campagnie Fruitiere – the parent company of Golden Exotic, Olivier Chassang, advised management and workers to remain committed. “This calls for added efforts on the part of management and workers to ensure that we deliver the best bananas possible in the whole world to attract new customers and continue enjoying the loyalty of existing ones. The situation on the market in Europe is very challenging and will continue to be so for some time.”

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