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OUR PREMIUM QUALITY COCOA: THE THICK & THIN TO A TASTE OF DIFFERENCE

Date: 29th October 2022

The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) was established by ordinance in 1947 to regulate activities within the cocoa sector. The cocoa sector in Ghana has not been an unmitigated success, after emerging as the world’s leading producer and exporter of cocoa from 1911 to 1976, and contributing between 30-40% of the world’s total output with Côte d’Ivoire being its main competitor.

Ghana experienced a decline in cocoa production in the 1960s and 1970s affected the sector negatively early. Production figures, however, recorded a steady rise in the mid-1980s after the introduction of various reforms with production nearly doubling between 2001 and 2003. 

Ghana’s cocoa, over the years, has been regarded as premium quality due to a number of factors. The adoption and adherence to Good Agronomic Practices (GAPs), regular training offered to farmers and the immense roles played by stakeholders towards ensuring the country’s multi-billion-dollar industry is sustained.

COCOBOD, through its relevant subsidiaries, implements programmes to support Pre-harvest and Post-harvest activities that constantly promote the quality of the cocoa beans the country produces to feed the world’s confectionery and pharmaceutical markets. 

Two main post-harvest activities are key; the natural means of fermenting and drying cocoa beans have helped to keep the country’s niche in delivering premium quality cocoa.

However, Good fermentation of Ghana’s cocoa has unarguably remained the cardinal reason for which the country’s beans have become the benchmark for measuring cocoa the world over. Generally, the country’s position as the leading producer of premium quality cocoa attracts a country origin of price. 

Aside from the above, post-harvest quality assurance activities ensure that Ghana consistently delivers cocoa with low levels of debris and defective beans to buyers. Further to that, the high fat content of Ghana’s beans helps to generate excellent cocoa liquor flavour for the confectionery market. This then attacks a substantial country-origin premium.

While striving to maintain the position of a producer of quality cocoa beans, COCOBOD continues to roll out key policies and interventions to sustain the industry and ensure a better livelihood for our prestigious cocoa farmers in the country.  

Ghana must not be complacent due to its successes but instead demonstrate commitment to improve upon its value chain. 

References

• Agrisystems Ltd. 1997, “Study of the Cocoa Sector to Define Interventions on Behalf of Ghana’s Smallholder with Particular Reference to the Framework of Mutual Obligations.” Prepared for the Stablex 1992 and 1993 Allocation.

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