© copy DVega / RMen
Sir-Ernest Farms and Logistics in Accra, Ghana started out as a small dealer in agricultural equipment and agro chemicals, but has diversified its operations to become a logistics and supply chain expert. Today, Sir-Ernest can be found in a wide range of businesses, including operations in Agribusiness, Food Commodities, Electronic Gadgets, Vehicles, Pharmaceuticals, Textiles, General trading, Brokerage Services, Logistics Supply, Oil and Gas, Commission Agency, Microcredit Financing and Multimedia Trust. As one of the leading logistics companies in Ghana, Sir-Ernest helps Farmers, Producers and Manufacturers enter into international trade agreements and represents their interests in branding, re-branding and marketing their products to consumers in West African markets. Sir-Ernest received the International Star for Quality award in Geneva this year and will be in line for the BID Quality Crown Award in London for 2015.
Up and Coming Star of Africa
Ghana has one of the largest economies in Africa, and was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence from colonialism. It was the site of an empire which flourished while Europe was in the Dark Ages, and its name means warrior king. Ghana is ethnically diverse, where its 27 million people speak over 40 languages. It’s also geographically diverse. The country boast the largest man made lake in the world, and has three distinct regions: A coastal region where the weather is rainy and humid, the main agricultural region where farmers produce cocoa, rubber, and palm oil, and a northern savannah with ranches, yams and rice.
Cocoa and Rice, the King and Queen of Agriculture
Cocoa is the most commercially valuable crop, and Ghana is one of the top two or three cocoa producers in the world every year. An interesting fact about cocoa production is that other crops such as red peppers and mangoes can be grown underneath cocoa trees, dramatically increasing productivity of agricultural land.
Rice is one of the major food commodities in Ghana, and the government has been actively promoting increased production of rice with the goal of making Ghana self sufficient in this crop. In 2009, Ghana developed a National Rice Development Strategy, and the plan has engendered activities among farmers, NGO’s, government agencies and others to increase annual yields. Ghana’s population, like most of the world’s, is becoming increasingly urbanized, presenting new challenges for agricultural production and sustainability.
Talking about agriculture leads one naturally to talk about food. There is a rich tradition of fishing along Ghana’s extensive coast, and seafood features prominently in Ghanaian cuisine. The food in Ghana also tends to be spicy. Cassava, yams, plantains and corn are combined with locally grown chili peppers and cinnamon to create a wide variety of stews, dumplings, grilled meats and kebabs with exotic sauces. Anyone wishing to take in local color would do well to visit a small chop bar, where patrons can get a taste of local flavor, including fragrant dishes served over rice. © copy DVega / RMen
At high quality establishments, much of that rice carries brands sold and distributed by Sir-Ernest Farms. In addition to domestic consumption, the company has worked hard to create an export market for them and many other brands that it represents. In fact, Sir-Ernest has already established facilities in Vietnam, India and the United States. Staff from Sir-Ernest work with each customer to analyze and understand problems in order to develop and implement customized solutions that meet their needs.
The company attributes its rapid growth and ability to manage such a wide portfolio of services to its culture guided by “integrity with excellence.” It has made a written commitment to “treat all stakeholders, whether they are customers, shareholders, suppliers, partners, financiers, investors, employees or other interested parties” with Fairness, Respect, Honesty and Integrity. And for sustained growth, they declare that “we have always operated on the premise that a long satisfied customer will do more to build our business than anything else.” The principles followed by Sir-Ernest are in fact deeply ingrained in the QC100 model developed by BID and are key components of Continuous Quality Improvement concepts which BID regularly recognizes in organizations with a commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.
In addition to internal Quality procedures, Sir-Ernest insists on trading only with top quality brands. Because of this, products represented by the company must go through a rigorous vetting process before being included in their product line. The result is that all of the companies and products sold by Sir-Ernest benefit from brand awareness associated with superior service and quality. A win-win situation.
Corporate Social Responsibility
An important factor that the BID Committee considers is a company’s commitment to the community. Sir-Ernest has demonstrated its social consciousness in a variety of ways. For instance, the company is actively working to develop agricultural methods that reduce or eliminate the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Sir-Ernest is using Agriculture as a tool to improve Ghana’s level of food independence, recently acquiring a 30,000 acre facility for Agribusiness.
The company also dedicates significant resources to support disadvantaged students, schools and colleges with quality food commodities like rice, oil, tin tomatoes, and mackerel. Sir-Ernest also has a program to improve the economic standing of women by sponsoring vocational training. Many of the beneficiaries of this program were forced to leave school in order to raise and support families, and financial grants from Sir-Ernest allow them to get better jobs and rise from poverty.
Because of its commitment to continuous quality improvement, customer service, and betterment of the community, Sir-Ernest Farms and Logistics has been selected to receive the BID Quality Crown Award for 2015 at the convention in London.
ABOUT BID AND THE INTERNATIONAL QUALITY CROWN AWARD:
BID is a private and independent organization founded in 1984, whose primary activity is business communication orientated towards quality, excellence and innovation in management. A leader in the broadcasting of Quality Culture, BID recognizes those companies and organizations which lead the most important activities in the business world, and is considered the founding organization in the broadcasting of the Culture of Quality, Excellence and Innovation in 179 countries. The trophy symbolizes a pledge to the principles of Quality Culture. The QC100 Total Quality Management Model, together with the Quality Mix program, media coverage of the convention and its impact on the community and business sector, create an unmatched platform for continuous improvement within the organization and awareness of the achievements of the company at an international level. Awards are given only to those who are committed to improving their Quality Culture based on the principles of the QC100 Total Quality Management Model. Candidates are proposed by the leaders of previously awarded companies who they consider worthy of the award. Especially meritorious candidates may also be nominated. The International BID Quality Award Selection Committee then chooses the winning companies who will receive the award in New York, Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid and London.