Since its establishment in 1947, the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has worked hard to sustain the Cocoa industry in Ghana. COCOBOD was established with a mission to encourage and facilitate the production, processing and marketing of premium quality cocoa, coffee and Shea nut in all forms in the most efficient and cost effective manner and maintain best mutual industrial relations with its workers.
In our effort to achieve the mission and objectives, we uphold social conscience, treat our farmers fairly and maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with all stakeholders.
Our Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives are aimed at embracing responsible actions and encouraging a positive impact through our activities for our farmers, environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere who may also be considered as stakeholders.
Thus we have a corporate social responsibility to cocoa farmers, the media, Government, Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs), our clients, the general public and the world in which we operate.
How do we see the Cocoa Farmer?
COCOBOD recognizes the efforts of the thousands of cocoa farm families whose relentless hard work has helped move the cocoa industry this far. The farmers are often faced with challenges of pests and diseases that destroy almost a chunk of the crop each year. The Board has established the Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease Control Unit (CSSVD-CU) to help farmers fight this menace.
Also, to ensure sustainability of cocoa production in Ghana, COCOBOD has instituted several programmes that ensure good agronomic practices including training farmers how to preserve the fragile tropical ecosystem through pest and disease control measures that protect the environment. Another environmental programme includes working with cocoa farmers to encourage planting of timber trees – providing an extra source of income, limiting soil erosion and discouraging the removal of established tropical trees.
COCOBOD also has various corporate social responsibility initiatives that ensure the welfare of cocoa farmers:
Ghana Cocoa Board has been able to relieve the burden on society regarding education. COCOBOD knows what education can lead to and the great benefit it will have in the country so it has been able to embark on these educational projects:
a) Construction of Schools
- COCOBOD helped in the building of the trust schools. In 1958, the Board granted the defunct Ghana Educational Trust an amount of 5 million Cedis for the building of Secondary Schools in various parts of the country. The Trust used the amount in financing the building of 26 Secondary Schools including Apam, Yaa Asantewaa, Ghana National, Labone, Kadjebi, Sunyani, Akim Oda, Konogo Odumase, Axim and Asankragwa among others. The objective of this scheme was to encourage the youth of the rural districts to continue their secondary school education in their own localities.
- The Board also assisted in the building of Akuafo Hall at the University of Ghana. Akuafo Hall now accommodates thousands of Graduate and undergraduate students.
- Some selected schools in the country have benefited from COCOBOD's free computers and this has spared such schools the burden of borrowing computers and also enhanced their Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills.
- The Board supports agriculture clubs in tertiary institutions. An example is the University of Professional Studies, formerly Institute of Professional Studies (IPS) where there is an established club called the Cocoa Advocates Movement. This club helps students of the school to appreciate the cocoa industry and develop interest in it.
b) The Cocoa Farmers Scholarship Scheme
COCOBOD has instituted a Cocoa Scholarship Award Scheme as part of its welfare services to cocoa farmers for the education of their wards in second cycle schools. Averagely, COCOBOD sponsors about 7,500 students per year for the 3-year stream or 10,000 students for the 4-year stream.
COCOBOD has set up four centres in Accra, Kumasi, Tafo and Debiso to cater for the health needs of farmers, staff of the Board and communities in which they operate. The Cocoa Clinic at Kaneshie in Accra is equipped with modern facilities to manage all kinds of health problems.
COCOBOD has also constructed a hospital at Mampong Akuapem in honour of Tetteh Quarshie who brought cocoa to Ghana. The hospital renders services to the people of Mampong and people in neighbouring towns and villages who previously had to travel many miles to seek medical care.
These efforts are improving the lives of the many small-holder farm families who grow this unique and very important crop.
Cocoa is important in the socio-economic development of Ghana and the farmer is recognized as the centre of this industry.
Provision of Solar Powered Lights
- COCOBOD provides solar streetlights to cocoa growing communities. This is meant to assist children from homes without electricity to be able to read in the evenings. Over a Million Solar powered torches have been distributed to cocoa and sheanut communities to help improve night visibility in such communities.
Provision of Solar Powered Boreholes
- The Board provides Solar Boreholes to cocoa growing communities to ease the burden of children travelling long distances to fetch water before attending school.
COCOBOD and other organizations
COCOBOD works in close collaboration with different organizations in an effort to continuously meet its corporate objectives. These include:
- Licensed Buying companies (currently, about 34 licensed buying companies work with the Board)
- World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) and Cocoa Livelihood Programme
- International Cocoa Organization (ICCO)
- Federation of Cocoa Commerce (FCC)
- Mondelez (Cadbury Cocoa Partnership)
- Solidaridad West Africa – formally WAFF (UTZ certified)