COCOBOD, Swiss Firm Sign Pact to Process Cocoa
The agreement also enables the country to tap into the expertise of the company in chocolate processing through training, product development and technology guidance to help build a robust local capacity in cocoa processing and value addition to meet both domestic and international consumption demands.
The agreement was signed at Buhler’s Abidjan office in Cote d’Ivoire last Sunday.
The Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, signed on behalf of the board, while the President of Buhler for the Middle East and Africa, Mr Heiko Feuring, initialled it for the company.
The CEO of COCOBOD said the agreement would deepen the strong relationship between Ghana and Switzerland, as well as enable them to share more experiences in cocoa processing, where both are significant players.
Mr Aidoo said Buhler was one of the top-class organisations in the world when it came to chocolate technology and expressed the hope that Ghana would leverage the agreement to also enrich its cocoa sector.
He said the country had begun a journey on the path of transformation in its cocoa sector and had been looking out for such partnerships to aid the process.
“We want to move from traditional cocoa production to a modern way of cocoa production. We also want to move from the supply of the mere primary commodity to value addition, and that is where we find you to be a partner,” the COCOBOD boss said.
He added that Ghana needed to build its capacity to add value to the cocoa it produced, and that meant it had to acquire the latest technologies for efficient processing, as well as chocolate and other cocoa product development.
“You have the technology and we need the technology, so we want to work together. This partnership we are forging today should continue to grow into the future and remain beneficial to the mutual interest of Ghana and Switzerland,” Mr Aidoo said.
For his part, Mr Feuring commended the COCOBOD CEO and his management team for their efforts towards building a sustainable and prosperous cocoa value chain for Ghana through the introduction of farm improvement activities and the implementation of the Living Income Differential (LID).
“We hope this memorandum of understanding will be the landmark of a new fruitful and long-lasting collaboration to unlock the Ghanaian cocoa value chain potential.
“We want to support Ghana in its march towards a higher value creation for the benefit of all Ghanaians,” he said.
Mr Feuring gave an assurance that Buhler would offer its expertise to Ghana in its effort to build a solid local processing industry to tap into the $100 billion cocoa and chocolate industry.