The Ghana COCOBOD and their Ivorian counterpart have made a strong case to major stakeholders in the cocoa value chain who buy cocoa beans from the two countries to increase the price of the commodity to benefit farmers.
According to COCOBOD, even though Ghana and Ivory Coast produce premium cocoa beans in the world, the high quality of the beans is not computed in the price build-up.
Speaking at a meeting in Accra with cocoa beans buyers from Europe, the Chief Executive of Ghana COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo stressed that the two countries will push for better living conditions for cocoa farmers.
He stated for example that an attempt to remove premium prices on cocoa is disappointing since it may cause farmers from the two countries to lower the quality of beans produced in the region.
“We believe that we have a peculiar quality in Ghana and Ivory Coast so that over the years, the industry has paid a premium for that. Now the premium is being discounted and it is very disheartening to see the premium being discounted. What it means is that once premiums are discounted then the industry is telling us to inform our farmers to also discount the quality of the cocoa, but I don’t think that is what the consumer wants”, he said.
Mr. Boahen Aidoo argued that the extra efforts made by COCOBOD and farmers to maintain a certain level of quality for cocoa beans buyers should rather encourage stakeholders in Europe to pay more to keep the standard.
He regretted that even though beans from Ghana and Ivory Coast are the best in the world, cocoa farmers from the two countries are among the poorest in the cocoa value chain.
Meanwhile, Mr. Boahen Aidoo stressed the need for the full implementation of the Living Income Differential of 400 dollars per tonne to cocoa farmers.
According to him, stakeholders in the cocoa value chain must begin to see farmers as the most important players in the industry.