Kasapreko Company Limited (KCL) has challenged the government to openly endorse indigenous brands and businesses that are performing well and consciously market the products of such companies to the international community.
That, it said, would help motivate the private sector, grow the businesses of such brands and, subsequently, raise revenue generation and the amount paid in taxes to the state.
The Deputy Managing Director (DMD) of the company, Mr Kojo Nunoo, who threw the challenge in an interview, said the endorsement was necessary to complement other interventions such as funding, tax rebates and other policy initiatives needed to boost growth in local enterprises.
“One thing that government can do to help indigenous businesses is by way of aggressive marketing. It can be such that even if they (government officials) are there, they promote them; a conscious effort to promote indigenous brands is what I am talking about. And mind you, as long as these brands are growing and doing well, consciously marketing them will be to the benefit of the country,” Mr Nunoo explained.
Using Cachaca, a popular alcoholic beverage in Brazil as an example, the Kasapreko DMD said the drink, which is similar to Alomo Bitters which his outfit distils, “has been virtually nationalised with full government backing to the point that it is now a national and international brand.”
“Back home in Ghana, I believe that our government can also do that by endorsing and publicly promoting well-performing brands,” he added.
On the beverage industry, where Kasapreko has been operating over the past 25 years, Mr Nunoo said it was worrisome to always see foreigners served with imported drinks in the country despite the quality replicas brewed and distilled in Ghana.
“All those people who visit; I don’t think they want to come and drink foreign brands; they have them in their countries so why don’t we make a conscious effort to get the star-rated hotels stock the local drinks,” he asked.
“Let’s try and get a bit more nationalistic with our brands,” he said, disclosing that attempts by the company to get some of the star-rated hotels in the country to stock their products proved futile.
He dismissed concerns that public endorsement of well-performing brands would amount to government engaging in practices that would endanger competition in the private sector, explaining that public endorsement should be targeted at brands that had excelled in their respective areas of operations.
“If Kasapreko’s Alomo is doing well, support it and if GIHOC’s Herb Afrique is also doing well, support it; that is the way to go,” he said.
Kasapreko, which is a family business, has been in business since 1989, distilling bitters-sourced liquors and beverages for sale locally and internationally.
It was adjudged the highest export earner for the country in 2012 and has since widened its reach in the export market, moving from the sub-region to some European and Asian countries.
Mr Nunoo also said the company was currently pushing for ISO 14,000 as part of measures aimed at reducing the impact of its operations on the environment.
The company, he said, was also undergoing ISO 22,000 in line with its continuous quality improvement systems.
The ISO 14,000, which is currently under review by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), is due to be ready by 2015.
Its adoption by Kasapreko is expected to help reduce the company’s environmental management cost, improve corporate image and lower distribution cost.