Two companies pay bonuses to cocoa farmers

Nana Kwame Boakye of Sefwi Bekwai displaying his bonus cheque after it had been presented to himNana Kwame Boakye of Sefwi Bekwai displaying his bonus cheque after it had been presented to himAkuafo 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