The Pioneer Food Cannery Limited (PFC), Ghana’s finest canned fish producers, says its rigorous environmental and work ethics have produced an elite workforce who have kept its brands soaring above others in the industry.
“We have been on the Dow Jones Sustainability World index since 2014. We adhere strictly to Ghanaian, European and American standards in all areas of production. In fact, we cannot afford to relax this regime because that will betray the trust of our clients,” Mrs Vida Botwe, Director, Human Resources, told the Ghana News Agency in Tema.
According to her, the company pursues an inclusive human resource policy in which disables are employed and nursing mothers given a 14 week paid maternity leave and two hours every day on resumption of duty until the child is one year one, among others.
“We treat workers humanly because out of that workplace serenity and satisfaction, they willingly put in their all for the company,” she said.
Mr Emmanuel Ankoma-Appiah, Manager, Environment, Health and Safety, said stress management was also key to the operations of the company.
According to him, “Heat, sound and other elements which induce stress are monitored and where necessary, counselling and reliefs are offered to re-energize the affected persons.”
He said in-house health facilities and personnel are on call 24/7 to give first aid, take care of illnesses and minor injuries.
Mr Ankoma-Appiah said the company had a tailor-made health and safety regime which could match those in the developed world.
“We conceive and build scenarios and back them with simulation exercises. Our fire fighting equipment are at places known to all workers because we take them through fire drills regularly. We have Safety Ambassadors among the workers who encourage their colleagues to abide by the health and safety rules.
We do not compromise on Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) use because hygiene and safety are key. All workers undergo medical examination periodically and know when to go when the alarm sounds. For those who have hearing and speech difficulties, we use flash lights to indicate warning and we don’t mind if you want to stretch.”
Contrary to public perception, he said used water in the factory are treated before it is pumped into the environment.
“The fish entrails are veritable resources for fish meal producers and the scraps are carted by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified vendors to feed the steel industries around. We also have EPA certified venders who cart waste from the kitchen,” he said.
On the sustainable use of fish resources, he said the company received fish from internationally certified fishers whose activities are monitored by the European Union and other developed nations.
“It is our belief that fishing must be done sustainably to guarantee that survival of generations which would come after us,” he said.
Pioneer Food Cannery Limited is a member of the Thai Union Group, producers of John West, Parmentier, King Oscar, Starkist among others.