Ghana Cocoa Awards celebrate resilience of the country’s cocoa sector
The second annual Ghana Cocoa Awards named Rahul Gopinath, CEO of Ecom Ghana, as the Cocoa Personality of the Year, in the event that successfully championed a number of unsung heroes for the sector who have shown determination amid the ongoing coronavirus, writes Neill Barston.
A total of 30 main category accolades, plus a further 12 individual honours, were presented at the industry showcase held in Accra, which is organised by national title, The Cocoa Post, with its organising team hailing the resilience of businesses in the country despite challenging conditions.
Consequently, this year’s industry event was dubbed the covid-19 Resilience Edition and held under the theme, “The Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) –Prospects and Opportunities for Ghana’s Cocoa” that aimed to recognised the efforts of individuals and companies within the country’s key cocoa industry that remains one of its most prominent exports, and vital to the confectionery sector.
Gopinath, who also won the CEO of the Year, had beaten strong competition from Head of Cocoa Life Ghana, Yaa Peprah Amekudzi to win the ultimate award on the night. Madam Peprah Amekudzi was award the Sustainability Personality of the Year award, while Cocoa Life Ghana was also adjudged Sustainability Initiative of the Year.
Speaking at the event, held at the Kempinski Hotel, Gold Coast City, Accra, CEO of Ghana Cocoa Board and the 2019 Cocoa Personality of the Year, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, congratulated winners for their performance and efforts in ensuring a vibrant cocoa industry. He urged Ghanaians to consume cocoa products so the country does not only produce for export but companies could really on local consumption, with demand reportedly steadily growing within the country.
Furthermore, he noted that the cocoa industry had huge prospects as efforts were being put in place to ensure Ghana produced three million metric tons of cocoa annually. Last month, speaking at the World Cocoa Foundation partnership meeting, he had hailed the importance of the country’s new Living Income Differential payment of $400 dollars per tonne, but had expressed concern that not all manufacturers were paying heed to the system.
“Now we are doing vertical production where 40 bags of cocoa can be produced in an acre of land with over 2000 pods of cocoa registered on one tree. Meaning farmers would not require large acres of land to produce cocoa,” he stated. That in addition with mechanised farming he said, everyone would benefit from the 100-billion-dollar cocoa industry in future.
For his part, founder of the Ghana Cocoa Awards, Kojo Hayford, expressed gratitude to those who supported the second edition of the awards amid testing conditions, and despite the obvious toll the coronavirus pandemic had taken on the industry.
He stressed the organising team is committed to unearthing and casting the spotlight on unsung heroes in Ghana’s cocoa value chain. Mr Hayford reiterated the Ghana Cocoa Awards scheme is very crucial to acknowledging and motivating the hardworking players in the West African nation’s cocoa sector, and also an initiative which is relevant to the global cocoa sustainability agenda.
The Executive Director of the International Cocoa Organisation (ICCO), Michel Arrion; the president of the World Cocoa Foundation, Richard Scobey, and the Global Director of Cocoa Life Program by Mondelez International, Cathy Pieters, delivered goodwill video messages which were screened at the event.
Below is the full list of the core awards-
AWARDEES – COMPETITIVE CATEGORIES
1. AGRO INPUT BRAND OF THE YEAR 2020
YARA COCOA FERTILIZER
2. ORGANIC FERTILIZER BRAND OF THE YEAR 2020
BEGREEN-F ORGANIC FERTILIZER
3. AGRO INPUT COMPANY OF THE YEAR 2020
YARA GHANA LIMITED
4. ARTISANAL VALUE ADDITION COMPANY OF THE YEAR 2020
5. BEVERAGE OF THE YEAR 2020
6. CHOCOLATE BRAND OF THE YEAR 2020
7. BRAND OF THE YEAR 2020
8. CONSUMPTION PROMOTION AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR 2020
DR. EDWARD AMPORFUL (CHIEF PHARMACIST, COCOA CLINIC)
9. CONSUMPTION PROMOTION ORGANISATION 2020
NATIONAL FOOD BUFFER STOCK COMPANY (NAFCO)
10. ECOTOURISM PROVIDER OF THE YEAR 2020
OHENE COCOA ECOTOURISM
11. TECHNOLOGY FOR COCOA VALUE CHAIN 2020
12. FARM IMPLEMENT OF THE YEAR 2020
SHARP POWER 4T SLASHER & PRUNER
13. FARMER COOPERATIVE OF THE YEAR 2020
BIA WEST COOPERATIVE COCOA FARMERS
14. LOGISTICS COMPANY OF THE YEAR 2020
AMP LOGISTICS (GH) LTD
15. PROMISING LICENSED BUYING COMPANY OF THE YEAR 2020
UNICOM COMMODITIES GHANA LTD
16. NGO OF THE YEAR 2020
17. HAULAGE COMPANY OF THE YEAR 2020
KITEKO GHANA LTD
18. LEADING LICENSED BUYING COMPANY OF THE YEAR 2020
AGROECOM GHANA LIMITED
19. MARKETING PERSON OF THE YEAR 2020
DOMINIC DONKOH – OMNIFERT LIMITED
20. PROMISING PROCESSING COMPANY OF THE YEAR 2020
WEST AFRICA MILLS COMPANY LTD (WAMCO)
21. OUTSTANDING PROCESSING COMPANY OF THE YEAR 2020
NICHE COCOA INDUSTRY LTD
22. FINANCING INSTITUTION OF THE YEAR 2020
STANBIC BANK GHANA
23. COMPANY OF THE YEAR 2020
CHOCOMAC GHANA LTD
24. JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR 2020
KWETEY NARTEY – JOY NEWS
25. OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION OF THE YEAR 2020
ROBERT AUSTIN – COUNTRY DIRECTOR, MEDA GHANA
26. SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR 2020
COCOA LIFE GHANA
27. ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR 2020
MICHAEL ZORMELO – OMNIFERT LIMITED
28. CEO OF THE YEAR 2020
RAHUL GOPINATH – ECOM GHANA
29. SUSTAINABILITY PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR 2020
YAA PEPRAH AMEKUDZI (HEAD, COCOA LIFE GHANA)
30. COCOA PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR 2020
RAHUL GOPINATH (CEO, ECOM GHANA)