Ghanaian cocoa farmer groups set for Fair-trade Certification

About 10 cocoa farmer organisations in Ghana are on course to join others in becoming Fairtrade certified by the end of the year, thanks to the work of the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership.

The initiative launched a-year-and-a-half ago is supporting the development of farmer organisations in 100 communities to become stronger and have the opportunity to achieve Fairtrade accreditation to enable them to receive a guaranteed minimum price for their product, as well as fair-trade social premiums.

Mr Nick Bunker, President, Kraft Foods UK and Ireland, announced this in Accra on Monday at the launch of Cocoa Ambassador Programme, which seeks to build youth interest in the Cocoa industry and its importance to the Ghanaian economy.

Seven cocoa youth ambassadors chosen from the country’s tertiary institutions would embark on the project in various cocoa growing communities to encourage the youth to return to the cultivation of the crop in place of the ageing farmers.

Research conducted for the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership by the Universities of Ghana and Sussex University found that youth migration from the cocoa industry was one of the most pressing issues facing the cocoa industry.

“To tackle youth migration from the cocoa growing communities, the ambassadors would work with young people to encourage involvement and interest in the industry and raise awareness about the importance of cocoa production to the economy of Ghana”.

“We have a business imperative to secure our supply chain but I also believe that we have a social imperative to improve the lives of cocoa farmers and their families. Cocoa is one of our most important ingredients as it enables us to make the world’s best loved chocolate bars,” he said.

Ms Harriet Lamb, Executive Director Fair Trade Foundation, said 10 new farmer groups, in villages working with the partnership, were expected to receive fair-trade certification, after the move brought significant gains to pioneering Fair-trade cooperative, Kuapa Kokoo.

“As other farming communities organised into local groups, and meet fair trade standards, so they too would be able to benefit from selling their cocoa on fair-trade terms to Cadbury,” she said.

The Cadbury Cocoa Partnership was established in 2008 with the overarching objective of supporting sustainable cocoa communities and improving the lives of over 500,000 cocoa farmers and their families by 2018.

The programme would see 45 million pounds sterling invested over a-10-year period in key cocoa regions in Ghana, South East Asia, India and the Caribbean.

Source: GNA

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