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COCOBOD, GSA FIRM-UP DRAFT ON NATIONAL STANDARDS IMPLEMENTATION GUIDE

Date: 05th July 2023

Management of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) have met to finalise the policy document on the National Standards Implementation Guide as a launch pad for the adoption of the African Regional Standard 1000 (ARS1000). 

Speaking at a workshop organised by GSA at Standard heights in Accra, the Director General of the GSA, Prof. Alex Dodoo commended stakeholders from civil society organisations, cocoa farmers, Licensed Buying Companies (LBC’s) and the Forestry Commission for showing commitment to collaborate and streamline standard guidelines for the utilisation of natural resources to achieve value addition. 

Prof. Dodoo assured participants that the guidelines have been simplified for easy understanding and application by service providers and urged stakeholders to maintain the close collaboration with the respective regulatory bodies for technical backstopping as a means to ensure for their value for money.

‘The objective of adopting these approved standard guidelines is to achieve the overall goal of meeting standard requirements for sustainable cocoa production and ensure that farmers indeed get their reward for the services provided’ he said.

He commended COCOBOD for funding the initiative and working in collaboration to ensure the finalisation of the draft which he believes would equip stakeholders with forehand knowledge and readiness to adopt the ARS1000.

Speaking on behalf of the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, the Public Affairs Director, Mr Stephen Boafo indicated that there has been increased global appeal to pursue agricultural development, in a sustainable manner under guided principles, without compromising our environment for future generations, of which the cocoa economy cannot be spared.

‘It is in response to this clarion call that the Government Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire initiated the development of the ARS, to promote and maintain a framework for the production of sustainable cocoa under the principles of continuous improvement. These standards address the unique challenges of African cocoa farmers as well as achieves the goal of economic, social, environmentally sustainable and traceable cocoa’ he explained.

Mr. Boafo added that the need to satisfy these global requirement, resulted to the development of African Standards under the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) for the African cocoa industry, which were approved by members of the ARSO council in 2021. This action resulted to the need for standards to reflect the national context of respective countries and eventual need for the development of a National Implementation Guide tailor made for Ghana on the ARS1000 series of standards. 

Mr. Boafo assured that, COCOBOD is committed towards the implementation of the ARS and would urge all stakeholders and partners to support and ensure its smooth implementation, as the ARS will enable Ghana’s cocoa to meet the requirements of the European Union’s regulation on, deforestation free cocoa and any other market requirements that may arise in the near future.

He urged all stakeholders to keep the farmer at the centre of the deliberations and make valuable contributions towards ensuring that the ARS achieve its intended objective of enhancing the sustainability of Ghana’s cocoa value chain.

Participants and stakeholders of the workshop were given an overview of the implementation guide specifically on the clauses centred on requirements for sustainable cocoa management, requirements for cocoa quality and traceability and cocoa certification schemes.

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