Akuafo Adamfo, a cocoa purchasing company in Ghana, together with Cargill, a cocoa processing company in the country, has paid a total of GH¢320, 000 as bonuses to its cocoa farmers for certified cocoa products purchased from them for the 2012 cocoa season.
A cheque for the amount was handed over to the Sefwi Bekwai District Cocoa Chief Farmer, Nana Kwame Boakye, on behalf of the farmers, at a ceremony. The gesture was also to motivate the cocoa farmers to continue adopting the best environmental practices in their operations, and thereby sustain the production of cocoa in the country.
The ceremony also marked the first anniversary of the farmers doing business with the Akuafo Adamfo Cocoa Purchasing Company.
Presenting the cheque during the ceremony, the Managing Director of Cargill, Mr Kojo Amoo- Gottfried, commended cocoa farmers who did business with Akuafo Adamfo for strictly abiding by the principles of the international community by producing quality cocoa.
He said avoiding child labour in cocoa farms and also protecting the environment during their operations were key to the sustenance of the cocoa industry .
Mr Amoo-Gottfried gave the assurance that Cargill would maintain its partnership with Akuafo Adamfo Cocoa Purchasing Company to ensure that only certified cocoa products were purchased from their cherished cocoa farmers for the processing of cocoa powder and butter.
In his address, the Managing Director of Akuafo Adamfo Cocoa Purchasing Company, Mr Tony Boudib, said since the company started its operations about 11 years ago, it had purchased a total of 850,000 metric tonnes of cocoa from the farmers.
He said because of the high premium the company placed on its farmers, it had always been very supportive, saying over the years, a total of GH¢450 million had been used to purchase assorted gifts, including motor cycles, bicycles, mattresses, spraying machines, machetes and other products for the farmers.
Mr Boudib said the commitment of the farmers and their desire to produce only certified cocoa products had opened a new chapter with his company, and gave the assurance that the company would continue to support the farmers in diverse ways .
This, he noted, would ensure that they did not only expand their farms, but also generated adequate revenue to support their livelihood, as well as invest in their children’s education.
“This is the beginning of our partnership because we will not only offer the best prices for cocoa products purchased from you, but will also ensure that we pay you promptly. This will motivate our competitors to emulate our shining example of only producing quality products,” he assured.
The Deputy Chief Executive for Operations of COCOBOD, Mr Kwabena Asante-Poku, noted that cocoa certification had become important due to the increasing demand of consumers of chocolate that cocoa products should be produced strictly under sound and acceptable conditions.
Story: George Ernest Asare