Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board, Joseph Boahen Aidoo has said it should not be said that it was his time that the cocoa industry failed to adapt to the times by putting in place measures that will grow the industry without leaving cocoa farmers behind, MyNewsGH.com can report.
Speaking at this year’s CHOCOVISION in Davos Switzerland, Mr Boahen Aidoo told investors he acknowledged the need and urgency for a paradigm shift in the cocoa industry, not just in Ghana but across the sub-region assuring them that he is leading Ghana in a direction where it can maximize its gains in that respect.
He insisted that there can only be cocoa sustainability if the industry agree to pay farmer commensurate price for the products. According to him there can not be any other means of sustaining the industry if stakeholders turn a blind eye to the issue of realistic price.
The cocoa board chief Executive was speaking as a panelist at this year’s CHOCOVISION in Davos, Switzerland organised by Swiss chocolate manufacturer Barry Carabeaut and attended by stakeholders from the entire cocoa value chain.
Even though the Ghana cocoa industry regulator accept there are other factors such as diversification are important, the industry cannot turn away from the central issue.
Mr. Aidoo countered the argument that supply of cocoa is outstripping demand hence the fall in the price, he intimated that the issue has to do with processors not paying attention to expectations of consumers, “how can we continue produce chocolate with high concentration of sugar and milk and expect people who are concerned about sugar to continue taking it”.
Mr. Aidoo has therefore charged the industry to set a floor price that will beneficial to all stakeholders. “ There is the need for a paradigm shift, we cannot continue this way” he pointed out to rapturous applause.
Cote d’Ivoire as an ally
Cote d’Ivoire Minister of Agriculture Mamadou Sangafowa who was a panel member indicated that it is unfair for speculators in the Cocoa industry to benefit hugely to the disadvantage of Cocoa farmers who are at the centre of the industry.
Farmers get 3% of the $120billion industry.
MR.Coulibaly says he cannot accept the fact that someone sits in London as a trader without seeing a cocoa tree and benefits more than the farmers
Representatives of processors and other industry players also argued cocoa producing country should control production and look at alternative income to complement income from cocoa sale for farmers in order to lift them from poverty.