The first container of organically grown and certified cocoa has left the Ghanaian port of Tema Port. The beans originate from the Suhum area in the Eastern Region, an administrative area of the country that is one of the largest cocoa growing places in the world (picture). In the view of the quickly growing market for organic and fair trade cocoa this first shipment means an important step for the West African country on its way to enter this lucrative niche market.
At a press conference held at the end of last year in Accra to promote the Swiss-Ghanaian project that has initiated organic cocoa production, representatives of the Ghana Cocoa Board underlined their interest in growing methods respectful of the environment. “Now, the main task is to develop the markets for organic cocoa”, Dr Yao Adu Ampomah the deputy chief executive officer of the government-controlled institution said. This is precisely what the Swiss-Ghanaian project, besides enlarging the number of currently 2,500 organic cocoa farmers, wants to achieve. “We have specialised in developing organic supply chains”, says Balz Strasser, CEO of the Swiss company Pakka, “and we look for social entrepreneurs form southern countries who want to export to western markets.”
In Ghana, Pakka has teamed up with Yayra Glover, a local company that aims to market organic and fair trade cocoa. With the support of the economic cooperation and development assistance of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco), the two companies are currently enlarging their fields of operation to the Volta Region in the southeast of the country. An additional partner in the project is the Swiss chocolate producer Max Felchlin – the first container of Ghanaian organic cocoa will be turned into couvertures at Felchlin’s plant in the city of Schwyz. (Picture: Arrival of the first container of Ghanaian organic cocoa in Basel)