GHANA – Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph oy Boahen-Aidoo has reiterated his call on the European Union (EU) to reconsider the element of cocoa pricing in its legislation.
According to Joseph, the legislation in its current form cannot sustain the industry and improve the incomes of cocoa farmers.
Ghana is the second-largest producer of cocoa in the world (after Côte d’Ivoire), with a market share of about 20 percent, while the EU is the world’s largest importer of cocoa, accounting for 60% of world imports.
Boahen Aidoo made these comments when he met with a four-member delegation from the European Union to discuss ongoing conversations on sustainability, traceability, and child Labor within the sector, among other agendas.
He noted that Ghana is committed to maintaining its status as the best producer of premium quality cocoa in the world, in addition to ensuring that cocoa cultivation is devoid of deforestation and the use of services of children in cocoa farms and urged the EU to fulfill its part of the social contract.
“Although deforestation is a huge challenge, we must consider that cocoa is the only crop that has preserved Ghana’s forest and supported global effort’, Boahen Aidoo emphasized
On pricing, he mentioned that the Living Income Differential (LID) policy was introduced to mitigate poverty among cocoa farmers in Cite d’Ivoire and Ghana and it is therefore imperative that particular attention is paid to the cocoa farmer who forms the basis for all the discussion.
Similarly, the Board has introduced the Cocoa Management System (CMS) to ensure cocoa traceability and sustainability.
With all these interventions in place, COCOBOD wants the EU to also ensure that they meet their end of the bargain by paying the right prices for cocoa. He was grateful to the EU for various support and their Sustainable Cocoa Initiative to enhance the sustainability of cocoa production and trade.
The Head of Cooperation, EU delegation to Ghana, Massimo Nina, who led the team, acknowledged the concerns raised, admitting that the current pricing framework does not match the living income of ‘cocoa farmers in the two leading producing countries.
He said the EU is committed to building stronger relations with COCOBOD in its efforts to ensure traceability and sustainability, as well as taking steps to ensure that cocoa farmers’ income and livelihoods are improved to correspond to their inputs in cocoa production.
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