President of Swiss Confederation visits HPW Fresh and Dry Ltd

BY: Naa Lamiley Bentil & Irena Ansah Pobee
The Chairman of HPW Mr Hans Peter  (arrowed) briefing Swiss President Mrs Doris Leuthard, and her entourage at the factory
The Chairman of HPW Mr Hans Peter (arrowed) briefing Swiss President Mrs Doris Leuthard, and her entourage at the factory

HPW Fresh & Dry is currently one of the country’s largest fruit buyers working with over 1,000 farmers in Ghana alone. Fruits such as mangoes, coconuts, pawpaw and banana are sourced from local farmers, after which they are processed and shipped to Europe, Israel and more recently, the USA.

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Mrs Leuthard was accompanied by her entourage from Switzerland and also the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyeremateng, the Eastern Regional Minister, Dr Kwakye Darfour, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Ms Gifty Klenam.

Factory tour

Mr Werder walked the team through the various chains of its production which starts from storage of quality fruits from its farmers, whom he said were major stakeholders in the company.


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Some workers at HPW Dry and fresh fruit factory at Adeiso

The fruits are packed into giant crates with names of farmers boldly written on the crates. At the time of the visit, personnel of the company were working on mangoes which started from a point of washing, peeling, cutting into various sizes, and drying.

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Mr Werder explained the essence of the various stages carried out under rigorous hygienic conditions to Mrs Leuthard and the team.

Hygienic processes

Obviously, HPW Fresh and Dry Ltd places premium on hygiene as it allows only personnel appropriately dressed in prescribed white plastic wellington boots, white jacket and covered hair to enter the main processing section of the company.

                     Mr Eric Kwadwo Darfur (left), the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry, Mrs Doris Leuthard, the Swiss President, and Mr Hans Peter, the Chairman of HPW Dry & Fresh Fruit Company Limited, inspecting some parts of the factory

Both men and women are also made to remove all forms of jewellery, including wedding bands, before accessing to the processing sections.

At the entrance of the processing section is a pool of water in which those entering are required to wash their boots.  Additionally, visitors and staff are also required to wash their hands with soap and dry clean as soon as they enter.

“Our principal concern is that food we produce is prepared to the very highest standards using quality fruits and ingredients and as the minimum we comply with all relevant legislation and approved codes of practice,” he stated.

Alternative Energy

Currently, HPW Fresh & Dry Ltd is generating from 10-15 per cent of its energy needs through its biogas, which, according to Mr Werder, is the biggest in the country.

The company generates additional five per cent of its energy by solar.

                                                                Workers busily working on peeled mango fruits at the factory

Mr Werder stated that the company was steadily working towards providing additional energy for its production.

Mrs Leuthard’s visit to the company, according to officials, was to assess the level of Switzerland’s investment in Ghana to find ways to consolidate trade gains between the two countries.

The Swiss President commended management and staff of HPW for their role in promoting business in Ghana.

“Many thanks to you and your collaborators who are bringing a lot of business and a lot of fruits from the farmers. We applaud and compliment you for the excellent work,” Mrs Leuthard stated.

Fair trade

Mr Kyeremateng described Ghana’s trade relations with Switzerland as a fair one.

“We are importing from Switzerland and they also import from Ghana. This is an excellent reflection of the fact that a bigger country such as Switzerland is not always seeking to have an advantage over Ghana but to support to export more to Switzerland. That is good for Ghana but we also believe that we can open up more opportunities for Switzerland to have more investments in Ghana while we export more to Switzerland,” he stated.

Challenges

Currently, access to all-year-round raw materials, especially mango and organic pineapple, is a major challenge, according to the Manager in charge of Quality Control and New Product Development at HPW Fresh & Dry Ltd, Mr Michael Mawusime.

Consequently, the company, he said, imported the shortfall of mangoes and pineapples from Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Togo.

“We do not have organic large-scale pineapple farming here,” Mr Mawusime stated.

“Presently, we are also testing for new varieties of mangoes for a more sustainable, all year supply”, he added.

 

     Mr Alan Kyerematen (right), Minister of Trade & Industry, in a handshake with Mr Hans Peter, the Chairman of HPW Company

 About HPW Fresh & Dry

HPW Fresh and Dry is under Swiss management and a subsidiary of HPW AG based in Switzerland. The company has been running a fruit sourcing platform in Ghana since 2004 and exports 10 refrigerated containers of pineapple to Europe every week.

HPW is one of the leading distributors of Ghanaian pineapples in Europe.

The company specialises in the sourcing and drying of fresh fruits, mainly mango, pineapple, coconut and banana. It also has other products, including the fruit bar, mango roll and banana crunches, all by-products of the production process.