WESTERN NORTH: BEYOND BEANS FOUNDATION, MERCHANTS GHANA LTD …
Beyond Beans Foundation and Cocoa Merchants Ghana Limited have together at a colorful ceremony, launched the 2020 Sustainable Cocoa Farmers Premium at the Samreboi ‘D’ District Depot in the Western North Region.
Speaking at the programme, the Managing Director of Cocoa Merchants Ghana Limited, Alhaji Abdul Fataa Adamu said the annual tradition seeks to reward the gallant and hardworking cocoa farmers and also show appreciation to partners and other stake holders involved in its sustainable cocoa program.
He noted that the firm agreement made by top cocoa grinders and Chocolate Manufactures including MARS in the early 2000’s to source only sustainably produced cocoa by the year 2020 was a laudable one.
“This became necessary because consumers were becoming increasingly concerned about social, environmental and economic issues in the cocoa supply chain,” the Managing Director explained.
Alhaji Abdul Fataa Adamu opined that at the same time, processors wanted to avoid the risk of quality loss and supply shortfalls with International Conventions and treaties such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Millennium Development Goals (MDG’S) were other contributing factors.
He reiterated that the Cocoa Certification which was the tool that was used to drive this move at the initial stage is still an important tool being used.
“Currently other tools and initiatives such as the Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS), Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA), Gender Action and Learning Systems (GALS), FarmGrow, Cocoa Action, etc. are being employed as add-ons to Cocoa Certification to help achieve a more sustainable cocoa sector,” he stressed.
The Managing Director disclosed that in order not to be left behind, Cocoa Merchants Ghana Limited in 2013, commenced its own sustainable cocoa program with the overall goal of improving the income and livelihoods of cocoa farmers and farm workers.
According to him, this was made possible through the implementation of the UTZ and Rainforest Alliance certification standards and new initiatives for the value added market.
“Due to our good works, MARS through Beyond Beans Foundation adopted Cocoa Merchants’ Samreboi ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ districts to produce and deliver good quality UTZ certified cocoa beans,”he emphasized.
Alhaji Abdul Fataa Adamu revealed that the number of farmers participating in this program from these districts has increased from 1,000 in 2018/ 2019 season to 2,344 in the just ended 2019/2020 season.
According to him, these farmers were taken through trainings and became UTZ certified for which MARS through Beyond Beans Foundation purchased 3,000 Metric Tons of cocoa during the just ended main crop season.
The Managing Director used the occasion to encourage farmers to continue to deliver their cocoa beans to Cocoa Merchants’ Purchasing Clerks.
“I will once again urge our gallant farmers to continue attending trainings and implement what you are taught in your farms and also discuss the good practices with other farmers who are not even members of your group. At this juncture I would like us all to give a big round of applause to MARS and Beyond Beans Foundation for their big and kind support. To COCOBOD and its subsidiaries and the other stakeholders we are grateful for the numerous support you offer us and we say continue to support us anytime we call on you,” the Managing Director said.
Alhaji Abdul Fataa Adamu urged the Field Officers to continue to do their best to achieve the purpose of Cocoa Merchants-Beyond Beans Foundation-Mars partnership.