CMC Holds Conference For Management Staff
By Joe Obeng Yeboah
The Managing Director of the Cocoa Marketing Company (Gh) Ltd. Mr Vincent Okyere Akomeah has questioned whether staff of the Company can look at the actions and inactions of its Management and be positively influenced by such actions and inactions for the betterment of CMC.
He was speaking at a workshop at the Bunso Cocoa College in the Eastern Region, organised by the Company for Management staff, Regional Managers and Unit Heads to brainstorm on whether the Company, led by its leadership,is living up to expectation in the face of the myriads of problems confronting it, vis a vis its corporate strategic plan implemented since three years ago.
"We need to find out where we are,are we on track, where are we going, we need to ask a lot of questions, are we inspiring,we need to be pragmatic and honest to ourselves. We need to say it as it is, in order to proffer the necessary recommendations that will move the Company forward".
According to Mr, Akomeah, the year 2022/23 crop season was a very challenging one, given that at the last count,only 650,000 tons of cocoa had been received, as against the projected 850,000 tons, and that definitely had some negative impact on all aspects of CMC's operations.
He noted that among the key headaches that confronted the Company was how to repay the syndicated loan It assisted Cocobod to secure, "but with the support of the generality of the staff of CMC, we were able to repay this loan one month before schedule.We have done extremely well and have to clap for ourselves.This is commendable and we are so grateful for that."
Mr. Akomeah minced no words in revealing that as CMC basks in the glory of such an achievement,Management must know that the business of CMC is evolving and staff must also evolve, since the same strategy cannot be used to conquer a problem that evolves.
"Your solutions need to evolve and as leaders of this great institution, you also need to be dynamic to defeat the challenges we faced in the past.This is why we are here."
The CMC boss said, gone were those days when we were happy as price went up, but today, as price goes up, one is not happy because it throws further challenges to us, as we do not have the cocoa to take advantage of.He likened this situation to the Akan maxim that, "wo nya akokor funu a, wo nnya silver, wo nya silver a, wo nnya akokor funu," that is, if the price go up, you don't have the cocoa to sell, if the price reduces, you have the cocoa to sell.
Mr, Akomeah bemoaned the dilemma that has hit the cocoa industry, due to the activities of smuggling of cocoa beans to neighbouring Cote d'Ivoire and Togo, adding that the industry faces challenges with respect to pricing, operations and our strategies, with CMC finding itself in the centre of all these.He encouraged CMC staff to show their ever hardworking relevance in the face of these ever evolving challenges.
He revealed that the opening of the cocoa season in September 2023 is an ample indication that things are really changing, educating that similar action was taking as far back as during the third week of September, during the 2008/2009 Cocoa season.
Things are not normal, we are not in normal times, so as Managers of CMC, it is important for us to regroup and take stock of our existence and where we are going."
As a Company, Mr. Akomeah boasted that CMC is doing well to the best of her ability in the face of international and local challenges, but as individual operational centres of Tema,Takoradi and Kumasi, a critical appraisal has to be undertaken to determine which centre does what and at what cost, instead of using averages, which conceals a lot of details.
"Sometimes, we use averages, but the word average is a criminal phenomena and hides a lot of details. People hide under average to do a whole lot of things, we don't want to put everybody in the soup."
He advised the participants not to be leaders who will only come out to take the shine, when their subordinates have performed and retreat, when the bullets fly,encouraging them to assess themselves as leaders to face the 2023/24 cocoa season with all the confidence needed for the performance of their duties.