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A delegation from Lotte Holdings, a Japanese confectionery company, has paid a visit to the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) ahead of the company’s 60th anniversary celebrations.
The visit underscores the importance of Ghana’s cocoa in Lotte's confectionery production and their commitment to ensuring a sustainable cocoa supply chain.
Lotte is renowned for its delectable range of candies and chocolates, relying on high-quality cocoa beans sourced mainly from Ghana. As the company approaches its 60th year in the industry, it recognizes the pivotal role of Ghana’s cocoa which constitutes about 80% of the cocoa used in their business.
During the visit, the company’s representatives had the opportunity to meet with the management of the Board and discussed the upcoming anniversary, the long-standing relationship between the two bodies through ITOCHU Corporation, how to further strengthen existing ties as well as foster sustainable cocoa, which aligns with Lotte's commitment to sourcing cocoa responsibly and ethically.
Gen Tamatsuka, President and CEO of Lotte Holdings thanked COCOBOD for their support and consistent efforts towards ensuring the export of the finest of cocoa beans to the company.
One of the central themes of Lotte's visit to COCOBOD is their shared commitment to maintaining strict quality standards of cocoa beans. This led the team to embark on a tour of the Quality Control Company (QCC) laboratory at Tema to familiarise themselves with procedures pertaining to cocoa certification.
The Deputy Director – Research at QCC, Dr. Paul Agyemang, welcomed the team and expressed COCOBOD’s commitment to ensuring that they provide premium quality cocoa at all times. He explained that there are ongoing chemical checks aimed at meeting Japanese targets and advised that the cocoa beans should be shipped shortly after the analysis is completed.
Reiterating COCOBOD’s commitment, Mr. Samuel Saka Boateng, Managing Director, QCC assured Lotte that COCOBOD does not “envisage bringing cocoa that will violate Japanese standards” and called for collaborative support in the form of exchange programmes to enable the QCC team to continually provide the best of services.
“There should be some exchange so that we can visit your facility to learn about what goes on there, what exactly your requirements are, and what we need to do. That will inform our staff and improve their capacity to be able to deliver the best for you”, he stated.
To climax their visit, Lotte representatives had the opportunity to visit Korboe farms owned by an award-winning cocoa farmer at Tafo in the Eastern Region of Ghana. They were taken through the process of harvesting to drying of the cocoa beans. This first-hand experience allowed them to gain valuable insights into the intricacies of cocoa farming.
Lotte, by this visit, has showcased that they are not just in the business of making delicious treats but are committed to sustaining their partnership with COCOBOD to impact the sustainability of cocoa production in Ghana.
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