The Deputy CEO of COCOBOD, Dr Emmanuel Opoku has indicated that companies found culpable in the malpractice of cocoa licensing transactions in Ghana will be sanctioned.

Speaking on NewsNite on JoyFM, Dr Emmanuel Opoku stated that internal guidelines and regulations would be used to met out the appropriate sanctions, and the activities of these companies stopped.

“We are going to stop any cocoa, certified or not so long as the company has been identified in this kind of malpractice. This is because the source or status cannot be identified,” he mentioned.

His comments follow an investigation by JoyNews that uncovered how some Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs) and farmer society groups illegally rent their certification licenses to businessmen to enable them to export regular cocoa as certified ones.

It was discovered that certification licenses could be rented out for as high as a million cedis to businessmen. In addition, LBCs do not pay the appropriate premium and also pass regular cocoa as certified.

According to Dr Emmanuel Opoku, COCOBOD undertook a foundation process to sanitise the Cocoa Sustainability Program.

Under the Cocoa Sustainability initiative, farmers are paid an extra premium for growing certified cocoa.

He added that he is puzzled by LBCs not paying the appropriate premium and also passing regular cocoa as certified, hence would ensure that a committee is set up to make investigations into the matter.

“I am going to put up a committee to probe into the matter. I cannot fathom why some people will do this to the very farmers they claim they are supporting,” he stated.