Key Ghana cocoa processing breakthrough with Koa’s latest sustainably-focused factory

A key breakthrough for cocoa processing in Ghana has been achieved, as Ghanaian-Swiss start-up Koa has inaugurated a second fruit processing factory in Akim Achiase, furthering its sustainability mission within the country, reports Neill Barston.

The development, which will see the delivery of 250 jobs for the region, forms part of a wider drive from the region’s governments to enhance the level of manufacturing facilities serving the broader chocolate and confectionery sector, to retain a greater proportion of the multi-billion sector’s profits for the region.

According to the business, the event, which took place on August 25, brought together a total of 600 guests, including the ministry of trade and industry, and the Embassy of Switzerland, hailing what the firm described as a ‘new era’ for its operations.

Koa noted that the new facility will enable it to scale its production capabilities tenfold and allowing the company to cooperate with an additional 10,000 cocoa smallholders in Ghana, which is focused on upcycling cocao fruit, and aims to be a positive disruptive force within the industry. Explaining the significance of its creation, Daniel Otu, Production & Operations Director at Koa, explained that the new factory will allow the company to grow in line with notable demand from its customers.

Notably, the independent Ghanaian-Swiss company is among the first in West Africa to have unlocked a new broader value chain around the so far discarded cocoa pulp. Working closely with cocoa smallholders, Koa reduces on-farm food waste around the cocoa fruit, increases cocoa farmers’ income while at the same time bringing unique new ingredients to the gastronomy and food and beverage industry for applications ranging from chocolate, confectionery, ice cream to drinks in Ghana and abroad.

As the company revealed, since its foundation in 2017, Koa has upcycled 800 tons of cocoa fruit that was, until that day, overlooked in the cocoa industry. 2,200 cocoa farmers benefitted within the first five years, earning a total of GHS 2.3 million (USD 300,000).

Distinguished guests for the event included Honourable Kobina Tahir Hammond, Minister of Trade & Industry of Ghana; Honourable Seth Kwame Acheampong, Eastern Regional Minister; Daasebre Nana Gyenin Kantan IV Nifa Hene of Akyim Abuakwa, Traditional Council; and Dr. Simone Haeberli, Deputy Head of Mission & Head of Cooperation, Embassy of Switzerland in Ghana, Togo and Benin were at the Akim Achiase unveiling in Ghana’s Eastern Region. Their participation signifies the importance of this milestone for Ghana and the cocoa industry.

Koa’s Managing Director and Co-Founder, Anian Schreiber, recently spoke to Confectionery Production for a key feature on the sector. In his latest address opening the new facility, he highlighted how the new factory serves as milestone in the company’s ambition to positively transform the cocoa value chain.

He said: “By supplying products for both the domestic and international market, we will add value to the farmers, the communities and all people who work around here. This factory will connect Achiase and Ghana to the world.”

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