Eunice Hilda Ampomah, GNA
Accra, Jun. 28, GNA - Global Media Alliance (GMA) has organised its second edition of the Ghana beverage Awards in Accra to celebrate, honour and inspire the beverage industry in Ghana.
Mr Ernest Boateng, Chief Executive Officer of GMA addressing the stakeholders at the event said the beverage industry had over the years been a critical part of Ghana’s economic development and had also been instrumental in meeting the nutritional and refreshment needs of Ghanaians.
He noted that the ceremony was targeted at beverage producers, stakeholders in the industry and consumers of beverages in Ghana and encouraged the beverage industry to work hard to meet the needs of Ghanaians and promote the growth of the economy.
Honorary awards were given to the Food Research Institute of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the Consumer Protection Agency, Food and Beverages Association of Ghana, Food and Drugs Authority, and the Ghana Standards Authority.
Guinness won the “Product of the Year 2017 Award” and “Beer of the year Award” while Castle Bridge by GIHOC Distilleries won the “Spirit of the year Award”.
Bel-Aqua mineral water was honoured with the “Water of the Year Award”; Blue Skies with the “Fruit Juice of the Year Award”; Storm Energy Drink of Kasapreko Company Limited as the “Energy Drink of the Year” and Coca
Cola as the “Carbonated Soft Drink of the Year”.
Other Awardees were Vita Milk of Gentle Giant Company as the “Chocolate Drink of the Year”; Coca Cola again as the “Socially Responsible Company of the Year” and “Manufacturer of the Year” with an additional staff strength of 700 Ghanaians every year.
Mr R. Yofi Grant, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre who was the Guest of Honour at the ceremony, told the GNA in an interview that the direction of the government was to develop the manufacturing capacities by using raw materials and resources such as the use of local substitutes like millet and sorghum in brewing beer.
“As a government, the direction is to ensure that we add value to our raw materials and resources and that is an area which should be interesting to the brewery industry.
The government, he said, was pushing for the development of sugar capability and capacity of the soft drinks producers to enable them produce our own sugar to substitute the sugar imported for the brewery manufacturing companies.
“We do look forward to having a lot of brewers in Ghana and especially we want the fruit juices that we drink to be processed here because it makes no sense when we have a lot of fruits here but significant amount of fruits used here are imported”, he said.
Mr Grant noted that the state needed to develop the capacity of sugar produced for the brewery industry especially the soft drink companies, adding that, it is also important to encourage the use of local substitutes in the beer manufacturing companies.
“There is coconut and other local fruits that can be used for many things. We do have unique opportunities for producing organic substitutes that can be used in the brewery manufacturing companies, therefore, it is important for brewers to consider the sector and invest in it to reduce the cost of the input”, he added.
Mr Roland Ofori, Brand Manager of Soft Drinks Category, Guinness Ghana Brewery Limited in an interview with the GNA said the brand, Guinness, was honoured as “Product of the Year” because they have been consistent in their production and have celebrated anything Ghanaian in diverse ways.
“Guinness has been Guinness for the past 250 years and that means we have continue to be relevant to our target consumers and Ghanaians should expect more innovations from us and more activities to support their livelihoods”, he said.
Mr Ofori noted that the award was an endorsement by their customers and key stakeholders in the industry with regards to what they keep doing right, hence, the need to give their target customers value for money.
Mr Bethel Yeboah, Head of Public Affairs and Communications, Coca Cola Company Limited also told the GNA in interview that the company deserved all three awards obtained because they create value for the consumer that patronised their product and also give back to society what they have received from them.
“It is something that just came to appreciate all that we are doing and we are very grateful and will create more value to satisfy the average consumer and all stakeholders”, he said.
Mr Yeboah explained that the Company’s Social Responsibility activities focus on health, well-being, active health lifestyles, education, leadership, entrepreneurship, and activities that impart positively on the environment such as water and pollution.