• Florence Torson-Hart (5th from right) was at an exhibition at ShopRite with the five SMEs that entered the US market
• Florence Torson-Hart (5th from right) was at an exhibition at ShopRite with the five SMEs that entered the US market

SMEs advised to maintain product standards, scale up production

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) accessing the US market are being urged to strictly maintain the high quality of their products to put them in a better stead to succeed in such a sophisticated environment.

Advertisement

They are also expected to have the capability to scale up production to meet demand at all times, in addition to the necessary certifications.

President of the US-Ghana Chamber of Commerce in Philadelphia, Florence Torson-Hart, advised in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Philadelphia after five SMEs from Ghana were accepted to sell their products in ShopRite Stores in the US.

They are AS Chanan Company, owners of the Ascolate Cocoa Powder brand; SheaCoco Beauty Natural and Handmade Cosmetics created by Jay Emjay Company; Achiever Foods Limited, producers of the finest tea brand, Daliha; Aquatic Foods Limited, producers of koobi powder, koobi chunks and boneless koobi; and Flocare Beauty, which is into shea butter cosmetics.

ShopRite, which has decided to deepen its footprint within the diaspora communities in the states, sells various products such as clothing, food items, fruits and vegetables, cosmetics, household appliances, liquor, general merchandise and home entertainment systems, and it is expected that the new products from Ghana will offer their clients an additional variety to choose from.

AGOA

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), a United States Trade Act enacted on May 18, 2000, as Public Law 106 of the 200th Congress, enhances market access to the US for qualifying Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. 

Qualification for AGOA preferences is based on a set of conditions contained in the AGOA legislation. To qualify and remain eligible for AGOA, each country must be working to improve its rule of law, human rights and respect for core labour standards, all of which Ghana qualifies.

However, over the years, many SMEs in the country have not been able to fully leverage the opportunities for varied reasons, including the lack of adequate support from state agencies, to enable the SMEs to scale up to meet the minimum required standards to be competitive in a sophisticated market such as the US.

Ending in the year 2025 after a series of postponements, the effort of the Diaspora Services and Products Incorporated, in collaboration with the US-Ghana Chamber of Commerce, Philadelphia, to have the Ghanaian SMEs enter the user market, is timely as it is expected to help the small businesses to harness their fullest potential.

Persistency

Mrs Torson-Hart said the deal to have the SMEs enter the US market was first initiated during the first US Ghana Business Summit and Expo which took place last year. 

“The Chamber leveraged its relationship to advocate for getting Ghanaian products onto the ShopRite store shelves. Fortunately, ShopRite saw an opportunity to expand and deepen its relationship with the diaspora community and expand its product offerings, and here we are today,” she said. 

“Diaspora Services and Products Incorporated has the exclusive right for the transaction and is looking to source and add to the current line. 

“Qualified companies can reach out to the Chamber for more information,” Mrs Torson-Hart said.

She described the deal as historic and transformational, not only for Ghana but the selected companies.

Mrs Torson-Hart said the Chamber was ready to work with credible financial institutions in Ghana, in particular, which support SMEs to explore external markets such as the US.

Call for support

Chief Executive Officer of Achiever Foods Limited, Bright Adoboe, who spoke on behalf of all the qualified SMEs in an interview said “As the lead person who coordinated the exporters from Ghana on this project, the joy of seeing our products on the shelves at Brown ShopRite stores in Philadelphia is a demonstration of the dividend from our struggles to list our products in a US supermarket.

He expressed the hope that in future, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) would throw its fullest support behind Ghanaian SMEs looking to enter foreign markets with their products and services. 

“We can't wait to see customers picking our products from the shelves in the stores,” he said.GB

Connect With Us : 0242202447 | 0551484843 | 0266361755 | 059 199 7513 |

Like what you see?

Hit the buttons below to follow us, you won't regret it...

0
Shares