The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has noted with concern that some Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs) are engaged in unethical practices in the internal marketing of cocoa.
COCOBOD made this known in a statement signed by Dr Emmanuel Opoku, its Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of Operations.
It said these practices which involve the payment of spot premiums and other forms of inducements, are offensive to the Regulations and Guidelines for the internal marketing of cocoa.
“We wish to reiterate our directive of 24th January 2019 that: Payment of any form of inducements to cocoa farmers at the point of sale is unethical and must stop forthwith LBC's must refrain from any form of advertisement soliciting for cocoa from producers for premium payments on the spot or at a later date
Premiums payments can be made after the closing of the season to only cocoa farmers who registered and participated in certification/sustainability projects before the start of the cocoa season,” it said.
It warned that “no LBC shall purchase conventional cocoa and declare same as special unless with a written prior approval by COCOBOD and restricted to a specific location.”
“We wish to inform all stakeholders that COCOBOD has begun consultations to reform the regulation for the production and marketing of certified/sustainable cocoa.”
The statement noted that “the final decision on the operation of certified/traceable cocoa projects shall be communicated to all stakeholders in due course.”
“All LBCs are reminded that COCOBOD Management shall evoke the applicable sanctions on violations of the above directive,” it said.
BY Melvin Tarlue