Myroc Food Processing Company Limited, exporters of processed canned tuna, says it has lost more than $5 million this year following the European Union ban on tuna exports from Ghana because of what it termed illegal and unregulated fishing. Mr Emmanuel Asante, General Manager of Myroc Food Processing, said the amount included penalties and demurrage for shipped containers of canned tuna which importers were unable to clear because of the ban.
Mr Asante, who was speaking with journalists on the sidelines of the Izmir International Fair in Turkey, said the company had to cease production since March waiting on the EU to lift the ban and as a result the more than 800 workers had been rendered redundant.
Myroc has a plant capacity of 100 metric tonnes of raw tuna per day but currently processes on average 60 tonnes.
Mr Mensah, who lauded government’s efforts to resolve the ban, said the tuna industry is a good area for job creation and urged government to strengthen the industry.
He said although the ban had negatively affected the operations of the company, Myroc has also seen in it an opportunity to explore other markets, especially those in the West Africa sub-region.
In this direction, the company is in the process of registering with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control in Nigeria to explore the possibility of exports to that country.
There are also plans to penetrate the Ghanaian market, using agents to distribute the company’s products.
Myroc, which is a free zones company, is allowed to sell at least 30 percent of its products in the Ghanaian market while exporting the remaining 70 per cent. The company until now exports 100 per cent of its production.
Touching on the challenges confronting the company, Mr Mensah said apart from funding, the recent power crises affected its operations.