Ghana has led the development of a new global standard for sustainable cocoa, and this is aiding image pricing of its cocoa on the international market. The standard has been adopted by the International Standards Organisation (ISO) and used internationally to measure cocoa quality level.
Professor Alex Dodoo, Director General of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), said the achievement came through the support of the Switzerland Government and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) by the Director General of the GSA
He made this known to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of a three-day awareness workshop on standards, held in Accra.
Prof Dodoo said a lot, however, remained to be done to ensure that farmers, processors, and the country obtained optimal benefits from the entire cocoa value-chain. Priority should be given to value addition, to enable the nation get more money from the crop. He said there were no issues about national standards, that it was all about policy and financing to help the farmer and processors earn maximum returns on investment to pay more taxes.
The workshop was organised by the GSA, in partnership with United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), as part of the Authority’s 50th Anniversary celebration. The GSA was set up to facilitate trade and businesses through the promotion of standardisation for the improvement of the quality of goods, services and sound management practices in industries and public institutions.
Prof Dodoo said its regulatory services were meant to make sure that goods and services that were traded, and consumed both locally and internationally, conformed to international standards.
He hinted of a national cocoa summit in the coming September by the Trade and Industry Ministry to deliberate on how Ghana could get a “good slice of the tens of billions being made from cocoa.”
Mr. Francis Kangah, a cocoa processor, complained that they had been finding it difficult to get enough raw cocoa beans to process and at affordable prices. The cocoa processing business, he noted, was capital intensive, and asked that the government assisted the local processors to pay upfront for the beans so they could add value locally. “They can assist us in pre-financing and with processing equipment, and that would make sense.”
Mr Kangah said some countries were doing that indirectly through the banks, which had been supporting the processors to buy the beans.