G4G SMEs embarked on a trade mission to premium off-takers.

IDH G4G SMEs are largely located in the northern part of Ghana, which is the hub of grains production however, most of the off-takers’ processing centers are located in the southern part of Ghana. Thus, there was the need for G4G grains producers to get to know and appreciate where some of these premium off-takers production facilities are located and their respective quality checks, production requirements and capacities.

In the light of this, on 2nd Oct to 6th Oct 2023, IDH supported its G4G 12 SMEs and IDH officers to embark on a trade mission to the premium off-takers’ processing facilities. The SMEs visited five (5) premium off-takers and one financial institution (Absa bank). The off-takers visited were Nestle, Guinness, Olam, Wilmar and Flour Mills Ghana Limited. The trade mission resulted in the following

1. Suppliers/SMEs appreciated the quality checks and production procedures that takes place at the off-takers level, so they could also adhere to the off-takers’ quality standards

2. Face-to-face business engagement sessions between off-takers and SMEs

3. Created direct market linkage between suppliers and premium off-takers and strengthened the supply chain relationship

4. Discussions on ways of improving quality grains supply, off-takers quality parameters, annual production volumes, supply volumes and pricing and many more

5. Rice SMEs have signed supply contract agreement with Olam to supply 2,000mt of rice

6. Quality investment support from some of the Off-takers. Guinness supported SMEs with supply of 350 tarpaulins to SMEs to help improve on quality supply of sorghum

7. With the B2B engagement with Absa, SMEs finalized and secured some loan of GHC 5 million from the trade mission

At each off-taker’s level of engagement, there was a round-table discussion between G4G SMEs and the key off-takers personnel such as Quality Assurance Managers, Procurement Managers, Agric Managers, Factory Managers, Food Safety Managers, General Managers and Business Managers. After the round-table discussion, the G4G team was taken on a factory tour. Each off-taker took the G4G team through the quality checks that is conducted at their respective processing facilities that is arrival of grains, through to the cleaning stage, to processing stage and to the finished products. The trade mission was an insightful trip that SMEs learnt so much to adopt and adapt to improve their respective business operations and to improve upon grains quality to meet the demand specifications of off-takers.