COCOBOD and its counterpart in Ivory Coast, the Le CONSEIL DU CAFÉ-CACOA have signed an agreement towards developing their own standards for exported cocoa beans.
The deal was signed in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on Wednesday after some preview engagements.
Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahene Aidoo signed on behalf of Ghana, while Kone Brahima Yves signed on behalf Le CONSEIL DU CAFÉ-CACOA, of Ivory Coast.
The agreement follows meetings in both countries aimed at harmonizing operations and adopting a common approach to relevant matters related to cocoa.
Details of the Pact
The agreement would ensure that the application of ISO 34101 series in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana for cocoa exports is put on hold to enable the two countries complete and produce standards for the region.
It would ensure that the two countries take ownership in developing appropriate standards on sustainable and traceable cocoa concerns of all stakeholders in the cocoa sector.
The two countries also believe that the outcome of work between their regulators would result in a sub-regional standard for cocoa beans exports.
On May 26 2018, President Akufo-Addo and his Ivorian Counterpart, Alassane Ouattara reaffirmed the determination of the two countries to define a common strategy towards a sustainable solution to the challenges confronting the cocoa sector in general in the two countries.
This led to the Agric ministers and the regulators of Ghana and Ivory Coast to kick start the process of harmonizing their systems.
It has also seen other operators in the area work on other structures to give real meaning to this move by the heads of states.
Details of the Abidjan Declaration
The Abidjan Declaration seeks to recognize the general interest in the production of sustainable and traceable cocoa in the cocoa value chain.
It takes note of the paramount importance placed on quality, sustainability and traceability in the value chain.
The Declaration also take cognizant of the fact that the international cocoa prices do not take into account the massive efforts required from cocoa farmers in complying with the strict demands of consumers, in the production of sustainable and traceable cocoa.
COCOBOD Chief Executive on the deal
Speaking to JoyBusiness in Ivory Coast, Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Josphe Boahene Aidoo said the deal is very important because it would ensure that farmers would get better value for their produce.
He noted that the two countries have taken these steps because they are not satisfied with the current standards covering the exports of cocoa beans from the region, adding that “this would avoid duplication of existing standards and ensure that current system which is alien, to farmers in the countries is reviewed.”
There is nothing wrong with this move, Mr Boahene Aidoo maintained.
This is because, notwithstanding the International Standard Organization requirement, the European Union also have their own standards developed by the EU’s Committee for Standardization (CIM).
Therefore there is nothing wrong with the sub-region coming up with its own standard for cocoa exports.