Ghana’s COCOBOD signs major agreement with Bühler to enhance local cocoa processing capacity
A key agreement has been signed by Ghana’s Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and Swiss equipment and systems business, Bühler, to build the West African nation’s local cocoa processing capacity, as well as boost training and technology development, writes Neill Barston.
According to the organisation, the move is seen by the region’s government as central to its overall plans to significantly enhance the region’s local processing of cocoa at source to enable it to meet international demands.
As Confectionery Production has previously reported, this strategy is seen by many observers as being pivotal for the region’s economies to retain as much as possible of revenues gained within the sector – with much of the end profits presently ending up within Europe, where the bulk of product processing is presently handled.
As the Ghana Cocoa Board added, a signing ceremony was held on 20 June, at Bühler’s Cocoa Competence Centre in Abidjan, Ivory Coast (pictured), which we recently featured an exclusive interview with its development team . Hon Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, noted that the agreement would extend an existing relationship the authority already has with Bühler.
Furthermore, COCOBOD explained that it acknowledged Bühler’s chocolate expertise, with Hon Boahen Aidoo stating that in Ghana,’we have begun a journey of transformation in our cocoa sector’, with such partnerships, as the country aims to gain a greater portion of the $100 billion chocolate confectionery and cocoa market.
He said: “We want to move from the traditional cocoa production to a modern way of cocoa production. We also want to move from the supply of the mere primary commodity to value addition and that is where we find you to be a potential partner, “
“You have the technology, and we need the technology, so, we want to work together. This partnership that we are forging today should continue to grow into the future and remain beneficial to the mutual interest of the two parties.”
In his response, Mr Heiko Feuring, the President of Bühler Middle East and Africa commended the leadership of Hon Boahen Aidoo and the management of COCOBOD towards building a sustainable and prosperous cocoa value chain for Ghana through the introduction of farming improvement activities and the implementation of the Living Income Differential (LID).
“We hope this memorandum of understanding will be the landmark of a new fruitful and long-lasting collaboration to unlock the Ghanaian cocoa value chain potential. We want to support Ghana in its march towards a higher value creation in the country for the benefit of all Ghanaians.”