Government keen on supporting SMEs in beverage industry – Deputy Minister

PThe government is committed to supporting small and medium beverage enterprises with incentives to boost their operations, Mr Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, a Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry has said.

The award winners

He said such incentives include zero duty on all equipment for manufacturing beverages, subsidisation percentage for investments and a duty-free on raw materials for manufacturers with difficulty in acquiring them under the One District One Factory initiative.

Mr Ahomka-Lindsay was speaking at the third edition of the Ghana Beverage Awards which saw the efforts of many indigenous beverage producers as well as some international brands recognised.

 The award ceremony organised by the Global Media Alliance, brought together many key players in the beverage industry.

The deputy minister said those small and medium beverage companies contributed significantly to the country’s development. 

“I feel very honoured to be associated with an event that seeks to celebrate Ghanaian beverages and their manufacturers. It is heartwarming to realise that we are still in tune with our Ghanaian heritage and this we exhibit by consuming our own beverages and celebrating its manufacturers,” he said.

He said, “By consuming made-in-Ghana products, we do not only share in our identity and heritage as Ghanaians, but also support the growth of our economy as well. Government is ready to provide the needed subsidies for the growth of the industry. When we talk about one district, one factory, we recognise that the beverage industry is a significant part of this industrialisation process”.

This year’s Ghana Beverage Awards encouraged the participation of the general public by creating the avenue for them to nominate their favourite beverages as well as going to a step further to determine  the winner of the most coveted “Product of the Year category’’ by voting via various platforms.

The awards categories included Beer of the Year, Spirit of the Year, Bitters of the Year, Water of the Year, Fruit Juice of the Year, Carbonated Soft Drink (CSD) of the Year, Energy Drink of the Year, CSR of Beverage Company of the Year, Manufacturer of the Year and Product of the Year.

New categories added were International Wine of the Year, International Spirit of the Year, International Beer of the Year and New Beverage of the Year.

Kasapreko’s Storm Energy Drink emerged Product of the Year.

 Brands Manager (CSD, RTD, and Water) at Kasapreko Company Limited, Mr Chris Addo-Sarkodie said, “We would like to thank the Almighty God for rewarding our efforts for the past year with such a resounding success. I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to the staff of Kasapreko Company Limited for their hard work which positioned Storm Energy Drink to win this coveted award. To the entire Ghanaian public, we cannot thank you enough for your support. Thank you so much for voting and loving our brand. We are looking forward to working with you in the coming years for more successes and to grow our industry.”

Commenting on the event, Mr Ernest Boateng, CEO of Global Media Alliance, also expressed satisfaction in the participation of both the public and beverage companies ahead of the event.

He added that Ghana Beverages Awards was looking at a future where the lesser known locally produced beverages would gain the needed recognition both locally and internationally through proper packaging, branding and adherence to standard practices laid down for the regulation of the beverage industry.

By Kingsley Asare

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