US Tilapia Set To Dominate Retail Market



us pixThe US Group of Companies says it is capitalising on the growing consumer demand for tilapia to sell directly to the consumer. The group’s subsidiary, US Fisheries Ltd, produces tonnes of tilapia using the cage culture on the Volta River, which it mostly supplies to middlemen who in turn sell to the final consumer.

Speaking at the inauguration of the company’s ultramodern retail outlet in Tema on Wednesday, Executive Chairman of the US Group of Companies, Chief Godfred Medicine, said the company had changed its marketing strategy to sell directly to the market because middlemen were denying consumers of affordable produce which was the intention of the company.

“Our intention and initial business plan is to make fresh, hygienic and mature tilapia available to customers in West Africa at very affordable prices. This is because we do not believe that tilapia, although an exotic fish stock should not be as expensive as it has become in our country lately,” Mr Medicine said.

“So far, we have invested well in excess of GH¢500,000 into the business to produce and sell directly to the consumer,” he said.
“It will interest you to know that, that the multi-purpose facility will serve a wide range of services, not limited to the tilapia business. In here is a radio station that will broadcast general educative and entertaining programmes to the people of Tema, its environs and parts of the Greater Accra Region,” he said.

He said even though he was not attempting to collapse the distribution chain, the intervention by US Tilapia to sell directly to the market would pose a form of competition which would compel reduction in the general price level of tilapia in the country.

The executive chairman of the US Group added that the company also wanted to change its marketing strategy to plough in more returns for the people who have parterned the company in the farming project.

He assured interested parties in the tilapia project that with the inauguration of the retail outlet moneys owed individuals would be paid.
The US Group invests in its tilapia business in partnership with farmers who will be given part of the returns. Marketing the produce which are currently being harvested after a year of breeding  directly to the consumer has proven to have more returns, since its cut down on margins that otherwise would have gone to distributors and middlemen.

Mr. Medicine said his company had therefore, set up retail outlet and distribution cold vans in various vantage points across the country to ensure that people got easy access to the produce.

The company recently inaugurated its multipurpose facility at Dome, which houses the US restaurant where consumers can point at live tilapia in a pond which would be caught immediately and prepared fresh for customers. Inaugurated about three months ago, the restaurant has caught on well with customers who throng the place daily for their fresh catch.

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