The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and a Swiss Cocoa Processing Company, Buhler, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to process Ghana’s cocoa into finished products for the local and the international market.
The agreement also seeks to enable COCOBOD to tap into the expertise of the company in chocolate processing through training, product development and technology guidance, with the goal of building 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 fortify the relationship between Ghana and Switzerland, as well as enable both country’s to share more experiences in cocoa processing, where both are significant players.
Mr Aidoo said Buhler was one of the top-class organizations in the world when it came to chocolate technology, emphasizing that Ghana would leverage the agreement to also enrich its cocoa sector.
“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, as a matter of urgency, needed to build its capacity to add value to the cocoa it produced, “that means it has to acquire the latest technologies for efficient processing, as well as chocolate and other cocoa product development” he stressed.
For his part, Mr Feuring commended the COCOBOD CEO and the team from Ghana for the efforts towards building a sustainable and prosperous cocoa value chain for Ghana.
“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.