A $8.25 million biscuit manufacturing expanded production line of Nutrifoods Ghana Limited, a subsidiary of Olam Group, has been inaugurated in Tema with a call on Ghanaian entrepreneurs to take inspiration from the success story of the company by starting off in their small ways and expand gradually.
Mr. Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry who made the call at the opening said the company which started from a humble beginning had now grown and was exporting its products to other countries in the West Africa sub-region.
Jointly owned by Olam International (75 per cent) and Sanyo Foods of Japan (25 per cent), the Nutrifoods facility is currently the leading biscuit factory in Ghana.
It produces an assorted brand portfolio which includes two of the most popular biscuits in the country, the King Cracker and the Perk Shortcake.
The minister said the private sector would always play a crucial role in the country’s developmental agenda and assured Olam of the government’s support to enable it to achieve its objectives.
“There are a lot of opportunities out there for Ghanaian companies, especially with the African market now about to become globalised. Looking back about ten years ago, you realised that the local biscuit market had been seized by all sorts of foreign imported products,” the minister said.
He said: “But the fact that today our shelves are full of quality made-in-Ghana biscuits is proof that Ghanaians did not necessarily crave for foreign products; we simply look out for quality and I think Olam’s Nutrifoods Company has made the mark.”
Mr. Kyerematen said the private sector played a crucial role in the country’s developmental agenda and that government would continue to create the enabling environment for the private sector to succeed.
He said the 2017 budget by the government gave an indication of the direction which the government wanted the economy to grow, adding that “we want the private sector to thrive, hence the introduction of tax cuts and reductions in the budget to ensure that the private sector is competitive”.
Dr Koh Poh Koon, the Minister of State for Trade and Industry of Singapore congratulated Olam on the inauguration of their new factory and expressed hope that more Singapore companies could participate actively in Ghana’s growth.
He also noted that Singapore companies were not just investing in the physical infrastructure but also in building human resource capabilities for Ghana’s future, with companies such as Olam sponsoring educational programmes in Ghana.
Mr. Chitwan Singh, Business Head at Nutrifoods Biscuits said: “With this expansion, we have doubled our existing production capacity, developed a new capability to make more varieties of biscuits, enhanced food safety and security through automation of our production line, and increased employment in other areas of operation.”
Welcoming the dignitaries, Mr. Amit Agrawal, Country Head of Olam Ghana, highlighted that the investment underlined the company’s ongoing commitment to producing high quality goods with local talent, in a supportive operating environment, adding that, expansion had created an additional 150 jobs and raised the existing workforce to 600 employees, of which 99 per cent are Ghanaians.
Mr. V. Srivathsan, Managing Director and CEO Olam responsible for Africa & Middle East said the company would continue to source for its raw materials from the local market in order to offer the opportunity for local supplies.