Ghana, a ‘bright star’ in global portfolio thanks to people and policy, says Olam Group CEO

Sunny Verghese, the Co-Founder and Group CEO of one of the world’s leading food and agri-business companies, Olam International Limited, has cited Ghana’s positive business environment and strong governance, the quality of its talent, as well as the commitment of its employees, as major reasons for the company’s growth in the country and the region.

Olam Ghana is celebrating its 25th anniversary and is marking the occasion with a visit from Mr Verghese and the Board of Olam International.

Commenting on the milestone, Mr Verghese said, “Over the course of the last 25 years, we have seen our operations in Ghana grow significantly. Today, we buy directly from thousands of cocoa and cashew farmers, supporting many of them in sustainability programmes to improve quality, yields and income.

We have invested in, and operate, four manufacturing facilities, have doubled our wheat milling capacity and launched dozens of consumer brands, including many market leaders in the country. I would like to thank all of our Ghanaian colleagues – over 1,300 – as well as the farmers, distributors and vendors who have helped to achieve this success.”

Commenting on the important role played by government over the years, Mr Verghese continued:

“We must also recognise that Olam Ghana’s success is due to a conducive business operating environment led by the Government’s Economic, Agricultural and Industrial Agendas.

“With GDP growth continuing to out-perform the global economy, Ghana is one of the most attractive countries on the continent for business. A stable and predictable policy framework has supported our investments in the country, which havey grown in excess of US$350 million.

“In recent years, various government initiatives and favourable trade policies have enabled our operations to become a hub of manufacturing excellence. Cocoa products from the Kumasi facility are used by some of the most famous brands in the world; flour produced in Tema is made into bread by bakers all over the country; while our packaged foods products, such as Nutrisnax and Tasty Tom tomato mix, have become household names, not just in Ghana but in West Africa.

“Taken together, the skills and experience of the Olam Ghana team have helped Olam International to become a S$30.5 billion company (by revenue) and are essential to our global strategy of advancing our ingredients manufacturing capabilities alongside our farmer procurement operations. Ghana really is a bright star in the Olam portfolio.”

Looking ahead to the next 25 years, Mr Verghese added: “We will continue to live our ambition to re-imagine global agriculture and food systems by helping farmers to improve yields and quality for greater income; producing nutritionally sound low cost foods for communities; and collaborating with government and civil society to re-generate Ghana’s landscapes. In doing so, we will continue to invest in Ghana’s attractive growth prospects.”