Guinness Ghana Breweries (GGBL) is a Ghanaian brewery based at the Kaasai Industrial Area in Kumasi. They are listed on the stock index of the Ghana Stock Exchange, the GSE All-Share Index. It formed in 1991.When production started at its inception, the company produced only Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, popularly known as Guinness. The primary depot was at the same position with stores across the country particularly in the south. In 1988/89 another brand, this time non-alcoholic beverage, Malta Guinness was introduced and that became an instant hit capturing almost 70% of that market.
The beans, complete with the pulp, are piled in heaps on the ground for several days, during which time the pulp ferments and runs off. Without this fermentation process the cocoa beans will not taste right. Some producers also use the liquified pulp to make alcohol.
The beans are then spread out on trays or the ground and allowed to be dried in the sun before being trodden on much in the same way as grapes during wine production. To make 1kg of chocolate, up to 600 beans are required and the cocoa production is very poorly paid.
The cocoa pods have a thick outer shell, which contains up to 50 beans contained in a sweet pulp. Although this pulp is edible (in fact it is very nice – we tried sucking a covered bean and it tasted a little like mange to me), the pulp (called baba de cacao) is imperative to the processing of the bean.
On the way back to Kumasi from Bosumtwi Lake, we visited a cocoa plantation. Cocoa is the dried and partially fermented oily seed of the cacao tree. Although originating from the Andes, 70% of the world cocoa production now takes place in west Africa, with Ghana taking second place after Ivory Coast. The Latin name theobroma cacao means food of the gods. Like the flower (see picture five), the pods grow straight from the trunk of the tree. The red or orange pods are of poorer quality and generally used for industrial chocolate (see picture three and four). Normally they are harvested when they are yellow (picture two).