Mr Richard Amarh Tetteh, Managing Director (MD) of
Cocoa Processing Company (CPC) in Tema, on Wednesday said, barring any unforeseen major setback, the Company would resume production of Chocolate by the end of September.
Mr Tetteh, who disclosed this at a Press Briefing in Tema, said in early May this year, Management of CPC decided to shut down portions of the Confectionery Factory for rehabilitation and routine maintenance.
He said their cherished customers and the public were duly informed through adverts placed in some dailies within the same period.
Mr Tetteh explained that even though there were several local cocoa processing companies in the country, currently, CPC was the sole
manufacturer of chocolate.
"We believe, therefore, that we owe the public and our numerous valued customers the duty, particularly of telling them when production of the product will resume", he added.
Recounting the historical background of the Confectionery Factory, the MD who was flanked by some Management members of the company, said it was set up in 1965, and had since not seen any major rehabilitation.
Mr Tetteh said with the passage of time, the wall tiles had broken and the terrazzo floor had cracked and worn out
He said the cumulative effect, among others, was that effective cleaning had become difficult and product quality was threatened.
According to the MD, the company aimed not only to retain critical local certification by the Ghana Standards Board and the Food and Drugs
Board, but to also qualify for the International Standard Organisation (ISO) certification to bolster international confidence in its products.
He said the standards of these regulatory bodies required among others, a high level of good manufacturing practices, which the project sought to achieve.
He further stated that, the project involved the installation of new packaging machines for five and 10 grammes of chocolate and a new moulding line to boost production to enable CPC to meet the increased demand for confectionery products.
Mr Tetteh noted that the refurbishment of the two Cocoa factories has just been completed, and virtually the entire compound had been paved,
adding that, this had immensely enhanced the company's corporate image.
He, however, said the major task now after rehabilitation of the confectionary was the much-expected outstanding job.
The MD explained that the project involved dismantling virtually all existing plant and machinery, digging out and replacement of old underground electrical cables and removal and replacement of old plumbing lines, among others.
Mr Tetteh said it has been difficult for management to decide on the timing of the project, which had been on the drawing board for a couple of years for want of suitable time.
"Management's difficulty arose from the fact that, the work on the project are closely inter-linked and do not, therefore, permit a phased
approach, "what is worse, production is virtually all-year-round".
"However, with last year's Christmas and this year's National Chocolate Day (two peak-demand periods) already gone, management decided to grab the bull by the horn and closed the factory this year, since it was slowly but
gradually grinding to a halt with each passing day, he reiterated".
The MD said civil works were almost complete.
Mr Alex Dwamena, Production Manager in charge of Cocoa, and Mr James Ababio, Acting Production Manager in charge of Confectionery, later conducted newsmen round the project site.