Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Sustainable cocoa project launched as Ghana cocoa continues to command premium

Ghana's cocoa production is strong and it commands a premium over that produced elsewhere which rose in recent weeks to between US$130-US$165 per metric tonne compared to prices quoted on the NYSE Liffe exchange in London. The growing demand for “certified” cocoa has been recently noted by local officials including minister of finance Kwabena Duffour at an Accra cocoa conference in November. As previously reported in Ghana Politics and Security he noted the increasing Western preference for “certified” and often “organic” produce.

The Singapore based agricultural trader, Olam International, and Rainforest Alliance which certifies cocoa, have announced that they will together fund a US$1 million investment over the next three years to produce “sustainable” cocoa in Ghana which is certainly timely. They plan to train around 2000 farmers, significantly increase cocoa yields, and plant native trees to regenerate depleted forests in cocoa growing regions to help counter Ghana's annual deforestation rate of just over 2 per cent. The two - who have already implemented projects in Cote D'Ivoire, Nigeria and Indonesia, say that Ghanaian farmers should be able to claim an even greater premium for “certified” cocoa.

Despite a recent cocoa surplus and market price reductions caused mainly by high 2011 production in Cote D'Ivoire and Ghana, long term international cocoa demand should rise. The leading chocolate maker Barry Callebaut AG, claims that approximately one million more tonnes of cocoa per year – i.e. more than Ghana's currently production – will be needed to meet demand by 2020.

For more news and expert analysis about Ghana, please see Ghana Politics & Security.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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