Business News of 2014-02-11

2015 cocoa certification on-course

…Cargill trains more farmers

Ghana is on course to achieve the 2015 cocoa production certification standards stipulated by the World Cocoa Foundation, Philippe Huet, Managing Director of Cargill Cocoa and Chocolatetold B&FT.

Cocoa buyers and consumers of chocolate around the world are increasingly demanding traceable cocoa that is certified as grown in a sustainable manner. As a result, a lot of cocoa- producing countries are grabbing the opportunities therein.

Cocoa certification demands that a farmer’s social, environmental and economic activities fall in line with best labour practices, in exchange for receiving a premium price on the produce.

The standards will also push farmers to develop better drying and fermentation practices.

“We are working hard with our partners toward achieving the 2015 deadline. In November, I was in the country to check on exactly what we are doing on it.Our focus is to invest in education of our farmers and making sure that the deadline is met.

“The training is in good agricultural practices targetted at the farmers, the farm and bringing good farm techniques,” said Huet at a ceremony in Tema to present certificates of graduation and a cheuque for GH¢604,288 to some trained cocoa farmers.

About 3,900 farmers were honoured for their dedication to helping to grow sustainable certified cocoa in the country.

He said: “We are pleased to welcome so many people to our plant, especially the farmers when this may be their first time they have seen what happens to their cocoa beans, how companies such as Cargill process cocoa, and even what chocolate tastes like.

We hope that today is an informative and educational experience.

“This premium recognises the hard work undertaken by these farmers and is a clear indication that farmers are adopting more sustainable practice. Cargill will continue to work with our partners to make sure that cocoa farmers have the right support, education and tools in order to continue building and actively supporting the development of sustainable cocoa production in the country.”

The training, spearheaded by Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate, is being delivered in partnership with Ghana Cocoa Board; licenced cocoa-buying company Akuafo Adamfo, a subsidiary of the Finatrade Group of Companies; and Solidaridad West Africa, a not-for-profit organisation that supports sustainable development of farmers through the enhancement of value chains for fresh and processed agricultural commodities and non-agricultural commodities.

The Cargill sustainable cocoa programme ensures a better life for cocoa farmers and their families, and strengthens the cocoa supply-chain for the future, exercising responsible environmental stewardship.

The programme increases farmer incomes through efficient cocoa production. It offers tangible customer solutions which enable them to join Cargill in the journey toward a sustainable future for cocoa.

Kojo Amoo-Gottfried, Managing Director of Cargill Ghana, said: “Helping farmers adopt better farming practices so they can improve the quality and size of their yields is a central part of the Cargill sustainable cocoa programme.

“In farmer field-schools, farmers will receive extensive training to help them rejuvenate cocoa farms and apply best agricultural practices related to pest-control, harvest and post-harvest practices.

“The premium payments are a result of the Cargill cocoa promise and a commitment to building a sustainable cocoa supply chain by focusing on three key areas: farmer training; supporting cocoa farming communities; and investing in the future for sustainable cocoa production,” he said.