The Confectionery Factory of the Cocoa Processing Company Limited (CPC) which has been shut down since May this year for rehabilitation and expansion works, is expected to re-open in October.
The factory, which produces the golden tree chocolate among other products, is being rehabilitated to meet modem trends in food processing operations.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic on the backdrop of the shortage of golden tree chocolate on the market, the Public Relations Manager of the company, Mr Ekow Rhule, said the decision to close down the confectionery unit was arrived at in March this year at the company’s annual general meeting.
According to him, since its establishment in 1965, the factory had not seen any major rehabilitation works resulting in inefficiency in production owing to the frequent breakdown of machinery.
Mr Rhule said the new equipment would also produce the five and 10 grammes chocolate bars in addition to the 20, 50 and 100 grammes, which the company currently produces.
He said the rehabilitation, which was being carried out at a cost of $5 million, would see the installation of new machinery, upgrading of old equipment as well as general civil works, including the laying of epoxy floory, which he said, was required in chocolate production the world over.
A tour of the factory premises by the Daily Graphic team revealed various construction works, including tiling of walls.
Mr Rhule stated that when the rehabilitation work was completed, the unit is expected to record an annual production stock of the golden tree bars from 900 to 1400 tonnes between the 2010/11, thereby increasing production to about 64 per cent over the existing capacity.
He also stated that the shutdown of the confectionery plant does not affect the production of royale drinking chocolate powder and choco delight spread.
Mr Rhule blamed the shortage of the golden tree bars on panic buying on the part of most retailers who might have presumed the situation and therefore decided to hoard stocks at the time of the closure, because according to him, management at the time of the shutdown ensured adequate supply into the system to avoid the current situation and appealed to retailers holding products to make them available to consumers who have been yearning for them for the past months.
While sympathising with customers on the current shortage of the bars in the system, Mr Rhule appealed to the general public to bear with the company as they made strides towards an improvement in product quality.
Source: Daily Graphic