A Swiss-Ghanaian company, KOA Impact Ghana
Limited has commissioned Africa’s largest cocoa fruit factory at Akim Achiase, in the Eastern Region.
Minister of Trade and Industry, Kobina Tahir Hammond, who commissioned the facility on behalf of President Akufo-Addo, said the $10 million state-of-the-art environmentally sustainable factory has been established to process cocoa pulp into fruit juice for export.
He added that the factory is the biggest of its kind to be built in Africa by KOA.
According to the Minister, the project will enable Ghana to convert the otherwise wasted cocoa pulp into products of higher quality and value such as fruit juices – a process globally known as up-cycling.
He observed that the project proves, without a doubt, that Ghanaians, were yet to fully capture the full value added of cocoa – its bean, pulp and pod. “I am equally enthused that besides the environmentally friendly juices and cocoa products to be produced and exported, the factory would also generate 250 new jobs in rural Ghana, help cocoa farmers to reduce on-farm food waste in the cocoa value chain, generate additional income and launch new unique ingredients into the food and beverage industry including the chocolate confectionery products, ice cream and drinks,” he stated.
K.T. Hammond was also thrilled that technology had been fully integrated into the operations of the company and its business engagements, ensuring the commendable integration of modern technology into an otherwise conservative traditional environment.
He noted that the government believes that prosperity for all is achievable through an industrial transformation that is inclusive and sustainable and one that ensures the highest standards of food safety to guarantee significant market access for brands wholly or substantially produced in Ghana.
Managing Director & Co-Founder of KOA, Anian Schreiber, in his remarks, was optimistic that the investments would ensure the firm can scale its production capabilities tenfold in order to allow the company to cooperate with an additional 10,000 cocoa smallholders in Ghana.
“With a unity of purpose which KOA stands for and which is manifested in this factory we inaugurate today. It was a big ambition, and it laid the foundation to positively transform the cocoa value chain by creating additional value for one of Ghana’s most phenomenal products”, Schreiber said.
He added that, “As a business that thrives to balance impact for people, planet, and profit, this project is the result of a courageous international team that is located thousands and thousands of miles apart and still come to Ghana to deliver this project”
Meanwhile, the Trade Minister expressed the President’s unwavering commitment to a ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ where the country harnesses impactful investment to boost manufacturing, especially in agro-industry which would enable the country to trade competitively to chart a sustainable pathway out of Aid dependency.
He also underscored the fact that the birthing of KOA Impact Ghana Limited had come at a time when the practical implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement in respect of commercially viable trading is gaining some traction.
K.T. Hammond was optimistic that more businesses would take up the challenge to harness the opportunities under the AfCFTA.
Touching on the quality and food safety, the Trade Minister said he was pleased to learn that the establishing entity had taken pains to implement the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system to ensure that food safety and quality standards of its products are consistently guaranteed.