By: Fred Yaw Sarpong, Daily Express
Nestle Ghana has launched a Cocoa Plan to enable cocoa farmers in Ghana run profitable farms and also get distribution of higher yielding cocoa plants and rewards for good quality cocoa.
The project which was launched in Accra is part of is part of the company’s global efforts to support the lives of cocoa farmers and increase the quality of their crops.
To achieve this, the Nestle Cocoa Plan focuses on improving social conditions, through the elimination of child labour and by focusing on women, children and their specific needs for education, health and water; and also sourcing sustainable, good quality cocoa, by ensuring long term supply of good quality cocoa, increasing transparency in the supply chain and respecting the environment.
The Head of Communications at the Nestle Ghana, Aaron Fenu said Nestlé Ghana has been closely working with the communities it sources cocoa from since 2009.
According to him the company already trained over 9,000 farmers, built three schools and constructed eight boreholes benefitting 14,000 people in communities in the Eastern and Ashanti regions.
‘The company also built four Village Resource Centres, providing training facilities for local students and video training on best farming methods for cocoa farmers,’ he added.
In October 2014, Nestlé announced the renewal of its long-standing collaboration with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), committing to contribute a lot of money over five years to the organisation.
In the framework of the partnership, water access and hygiene projects will be extended to cocoa growing communities in Ghana.
The launch of the Nestle Cocoa Plan in Ghana comes as a specific commitment of the company to the implementation of the “CocoaAction”, an industry-wide strategy aiming to accelerate sustainability and improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.
The Deputy Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Dr. Francis Oppong, stated that COCOBOD gives its support to industrial initiatives geared towards improving and sustaining the cocoa industry and recognizes the need to collaborate and coordinate efforts with the private sector to achieve success.
Mr. Moataz El Hout, the Managing Director of Nestlé Ghana Limited said: “We believe collaboration with partners, a multi-stakeholder approach and transparency are critical to our long-term success and will benefit the communities we work with”.
In Ghana, the Nestlé Cocoa Plan is implemented in partnership with Source Trust, Armajaro (ECOMS) and Noble Resource.
The Nestlé Cocoa Plan is active in most major cocoa-growing countries, including Côte d’Ivoire, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Mexico and Indonesia. Nestlé has committed to source 120 000 tonnes of cocoa through the Plan by 2016.