The General Manager of Ashanti Foam Factory Limited (Ashfoam), Mr George Massih has urged the Government to safeguard the thousands of jobs in the indigenous foam manufacturing sector by decidedly ending the smuggling of second hand foam mattresses into the country.
He said foam companies were likely to suffer the fate of their textile counterparts if the Government failed to protect them from the illegal influx of the very cheap but hazardous imports.
Mr Massih was speaking at an event with some media editors, at which the Company presented its pledged award to the 2017 Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) of the Year, Mr Bernard Koku Avle of Citifm.
Mr Avle received a classy set of furniture, dubbed, “the L-Shape Emefa set”. The Best Female Journalist of the Year, Ms Jamila Akweley Okertchiri of the Daily Guide; as well as Ms Alice Aryitey of Gh One TV, the Most Promising Journalist of the Year, are each receiving a 10-inches-Queen-size mattress each.
Mr Massih said beyond the economic repercussions of the imports, every Ghanaian should be concerned about the diseases such mattresses were likely to harbour, cautioning that anybody could be exposed to them from the port to the market.
He explained that second hand mattresses were abandoned products from their countries of origin – either because their owners had discarded them for the orthopaedic problems they were getting from them; or because somebody with a contagious disease had slept on them or died on them.
“We’re passionate about educating the public to know about the dangers they are exposing themselves to by using these mattresses and the orthopaedic problems they might contract, which would cost them more to treat,” he emphasised.
He, therefore, urged the GJA to partner it to roll out a public education programme for patrons to make informed choices.
Mr Massih said it was frustrating that customs officials could not deal with the banned items regardless of the support they were giving them.
On Ashfoam’s support to the GJA Awards Scheme, Mr Massih said businesses progressed by building bridges and the media was a core part in the value chain of its operations.
“We could buy the best of machines and chemicals, but if you, in the media, are not available to tell the stories to the public, we’ll be working in vain.
“Society works better when we hold each other up and support one another. We must also be open-minded to take criticisms in good faith because these make us grow and improve on what we do”.
He said the Company, established in 1978, was the only manufacturer of polyurethane foam products with an ISO Certification in Ghana, and it was committed to sustaining its international standards through research and development.
It had, however, diversified its products going, into the manufacturing of furniture, linens, apparels, wheelbarrows and more, with a total employee force of more than 4,000.
Receiving his award, Mr Avle said he was impressed with the strides the Company had made over the years.
He said an ingenuous company supporting more than 4,000 people with their families needed every relevant support to thrive so he was thankful to be associated with the brand.
The President of the GJA, Mr Affail Monney said the Association was grateful for Ashfoam’s support over the years, which had helped to encourage practitioners to raise the professional bar.
The best way to get someone to give of his best was to encourage him with rewards, he said, adding that, it was heart-warming that Ashfoam had been faithful in that role.
For his, part Mr George Ampem Darko, the Public Relations/ Marketing Manager, said the Company, which recently painted the GJA’s head-office ahead of the World Press Freedom Day, would continue to support journalism for national development.