The Managing Director of Ayoola Foods Limited, Mr. Segun Olaye has warned consumers to beware of contaminated and poorly prepared food items in the market.
He gave the warning at the 2024 customers’ forum of the company which took place at the Sheraton Hotel in Lagos on Saturday, February 3.
The customers’ forum is a yearly programme of the organisation designed to compensate and appreciate leading distributors of the wide range of products of the company.
At the forum, Olaye said the economic downturn has made many food and drug manufacturers cut corners and sell items that have adverse health implications.
He noted for instance that some food manufacturers are taking advantage of diabetic patients. According to him, “They know unripe plantain is good for diabetic patients because of their health condition. But they make plantain flour from ripe and overripe plantain and tag them as ideal for diabetics. This is unfair and a disservice to people.”
People’s health matter
While noting that the economy is in dire strait, he said, “It is ungodly to take advantage of people’s health condition because of money. In Ayoola Foods, we don’t compromise standards. We care about what people eat.
“We don’t have a problem with government officials and individuals coming to verify, assess our factories, and see the standards that we maintain. Our workers know we don’t compromise standards. And no staff dare compromise quality for us in the name of gain. We don’t do that. Any staff that does that will be sacked immediately.”
He urged consumers to investigate the manufacturers of the food they consume so that they will not fall victim to health conditions that will wipe away their resources.
Looming food crisis
At the forum which attracted distributors from across Nigeria, Olaye noted that there is a looming food crisis in the country.
“This is the particular time of the year we normally buy some of the raw food items we use in the packaging of our products. But unfortunately, we have been having challenges in getting these food items.
“Last year, we could not meet the demand for products because we did not have enough raw food items to work with. Plantain, yam, and many other food items are hard to come by in large quantities,” he said.
How we survived
He thanked God for making it possible for the company to survive 2023 adding that it was the most trying period for many organisations in Nigeria.
“Despite the biting inflation and harsh operating environment we were able to survive. It was God that helped us to navigate the murky business waters.”
Olaye said projections and the ability to take advantage of available information are key to the success of any business organisation.
“If you don’t have information, it is easy for your profits to be wiped away. Only God knows what would have happened if we didn’t have enough information to prepare ahead. I am seeing something I have never seen in the last 30-plus years of our operations.
“The problem we have now is not about sales. It is about production. Getting cassava and plantain in large quantities is a problem. You ask for 100 tonnes, what you are supplied is 5 tonnes.”
There is hope
He however assured that all will be well adding, “We are made to solve problems not to complain about them. Challenges must come, if there are no challenges, we won’t know there is God.”
Earlier at the event, there was a session to educate consumers on the health benefits of all the products of Ayoola foods: Plantain flour, poundo yam, rice flour, fufu flour, and a couple of others.
It was also revealed how some of the products can be used for a variety of foods and how they are prepared. There was also a comedy news session to spice up the occasion.
Ayoola Foundation and Orphanage
The main attraction for the 2024 event was however the live performance of children at the Ayoola Foundation and Orphanage Home.
The children’s performance elicited some emotion from the audience. Mr. Olaye had earlier stated that profits from Ayoola Foods go to the orphanage.
He said, “If you patronise Ayoola Foods, you are indirectly supporting the orphanage because the money we get from Ayoola Foods is used to keep the orphanage going. That is my pact with God. We don’t collect donations from people to run the orphanage for strategic reasons.
“We can collect gift items, but not money. What we get from the food company and my funds are going into the orphanage. We hope to train the children to the university level. That is our way of giving back to the society.”
The orphanage is located at the back of Diamond Estate off Idimu Igando Road. It is a massive complex with world-class hostel accommodation, school, and recreational facilities built specifically for orphans. The entry point for the orphans is age 2 to 10.
Read also: Touring Ayoola Foundation’s multimillion naira orphanage complex:https://churchtimesnigeria.net/touring-ayoola-foundations-multi-million-naira-orphanage/