Sokode Biscuit Factory collapses … Due to unmitigated importation of foreign biscuits

•  Madam Awudey pointing at the empty trays lying idle

• Madam Awudey pointing at the empty trays lying idle

The huge clay ovens at rest outside, the stockpile of empty aluminium trays and the long tables lying idle indoors depict years of vigorous indigenous and lucrative industry long since past.

The Sokode Biscuit Factory at Sokode-Gbogame in the Ho municipality was a formidable name in biscuit manufacturing for more than four decades in the country.

It supplied cookies to such giant shops as Chandirams, Chelerams, UAC, UTC, Multistore, Ghana House, educational institutions, markets in Krobo Land, Accra, Kumasi, Koforidua and to the UN peace keeping soldiers in the Middle East.

The peak of the factory’s production was from 1994 to 1997 when its product gained tremendous popularity in the Ghana.

The factory participated in the Industry and Technology Trade Fair (INDITECH) in 1997 in Accra.

Behind that success is Madam Beatrice Akosua Awudey.

In a chat with the Ghanaian Times during a visit to the place by the executive members of the Volta Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Madam Awudey, 90, recalled how she finished apprenticeship in pastries at Hohoe at the age of 21 and returned home to her aunt who had established a bakery to supply bread.

While assisting her aunt in the bread making business, Beatrice (as she loves to be called) moulded the dough differently with other ingredients which turned out to be biscuits as the final product.

“That was my calling to the industry,” she said.

The primary school class three drop-out then started the biscuit business in 1960 and devoted the rested of her life to the industry, which had 54 workers during its years of production.

The Ghana Standards Board and Foods and Drugs Authority certified the factory which was awarded several certificate of distinction between 1994 and 2009.

She definitely raked a vast fortune from her investments in the biscuit factory but she insists that the greatest investment she ever made was those in the education of her daughters and grandchildren.

Today the Sokode Biscuit Factory which for years produced 16 maxi bags daily and sold them out on the same day, is silent with no smell of hot biscuits and no flame in the ovens.

The striking queue of vehicles waiting to load the biscuits for delivery to the urban centres, are now absent.

The factory whose customers included former President Rawlings and other dignitaries from far and near only produces biscuits on demand to wedding celebrants, funerals and social events organisers.

According to Madam Awudey, the unmitigated importation of foreign biscuits into the country is the course of the collapse of my factory.

Apart from that the market has expanded and that requires bigger premises for the factory, industrial ovens and packaging equipment.

That notwithstanding, the nonagenarian industrialist is still highly optimistic as she looks into the future.

“I already have a piece of land…. about two building plots for possible relocation from the current site,” she told the Ghanaian Times.

She believes with a capital injection of GH₵ 200,000 the Sokode Biscuit Factory will bounce back to a massive and quality production and provide jobs to hundreds of young people across the country.

FROM ALBERTO MARIO NORETTI, SOKODE- GBOGAME 

 

 

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