The Chefs Association of Ghana is appealing to the government to make food systems more resilient so that they can withstand the shocks from increasing price volatility, climate change, and supply chain disruptions.
They also want the government to help deliver affordable and sustainable healthy diets and decent livelihoods for citizens engaged directly or indirectly in the food value chains.
The Association made the appeal in a statement it issued and copied to the Ghana News Agency, signed by its President Mr Isaac Sackey over preparations to join the rest of the world to mark this year’s International Chefs Day on October 20 on the theme: “Healthy Food for the Future” with the Ghana Tourism Federation and other partners.
The statement said the need to strengthen and scale up the food and nutrition systems as COVID-19 drove up numbers of malnutrition in the country should be a top priority.
Inspired by the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Agriculture’s ‘Planting for Food-end Jobs’ and the Ghana Tourism Authority’s ‘Eat Ghana’ initiative to recognize food and agriculture as important tools to build back better and galvanize the nation’s economy, the theme for this year is a ‘Call for national solidarity to grow local, seasonal, and nutritious foods in a sustainable manner to help the Ghanaian population, especially the children and the vulnerable, it said.
Chefs have become increasingly involved in the global movement to reduce food waste, championing food waste reduction efforts in their own restaurants, empowering local communities to fight food waste and have also become agents of change who could navigate people towards healthier diets, sustainable food production, and reduced food waste, and led the fight against hunger and malnutrition.
The Association said there was a high demand for professional Chefs in the country due to inadequate resources of technical and vocational education, course specifications for chefs in the schools.
Meanwhile, in 2020, the unemployment rate in Ghana was at approximately 4.53 per cent of the total labour force and one of the avenues for government to reduce the unemployed was to focus more on culinary education by equipping the facilities.
“We also want to appeal to Government to have a national policy to guide the school feeding caterer’s recruitment and their work to avoid poor sanitation and low quality of food served,” the statement noted.
The Chefs Association said the celebration of the day would also be an opportunity to recognise the role chefs, school feeding caterers, and farmers play in making sure that food reached the consumers despite the unprecedented disruptions due to COVID-19.
“As we celebrate this day, I wish to congratulate all Ghanaian chefs for a wonderful work done, continue the good work to continue feeding the nation. Ayeekoo to you all,” the statement said.