Certification standards body, Rainforest Alliance has placed a permanent ban on freelance auditor, Hope Wordu for engaging in unethical activities related to the certification programme in the cocoa sector.

The certification standards body made this known through a press release dated October 26, 2020.

“The Rainforest Alliance has placed a permanent ban on the auditor in question, effective immediately. This ban forbids this auditor from carrying out auditing activity for the Rainforest Alliance in any sector or region. All certification bodies have been informed of this ban,” the statement disclosed.

Hope Wordu was captured in JoyNews’ hotline documentary ‘Robbing the Poor’ conspiring to forge a significant aspect of the certification process to enable to investigative team acquire a rainforest alliance certificate.

‘Robbing The Poor’ details the blatant abuse of the certification system giving rise to a situation where some Licenced Buying Companies within the cocoa sector do not pay the appropriate premium to farmers.

The Rainforest Alliance also stated that it recognizes the low income earned by cocoa farmers is a significant challenge to the sustainability of the cocoa sector in West Africa and have over the years been working to improve the economic well-being of the farmers.

“We have been working actively for many years with our supply chain
partners to improve the economic well-being of cocoa farmers and to address other critical sustainability issues in the cocoa sector including human rights and deforestation,” the statement revealed.

The statement from the certification standards body expressed gratitude to JoyNews’ Quertey Nartey for his documentary as it will help them improve their program in the cocoa sector.

“We welcome important inputs such as the documentary as it helps inform our continued efforts to improve our program and our impact on the social
and environmental issues that are inherent in the cocoa sector and in the 60 countries where we work,” the statement noted.