Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Swiss food processing technology giant Bühler Group to support the country’s value addition drive.
Bühler Group is a world leader in cocoa processing and chocolate manufacturing equipment and technology.
As part of the deal, the company will extend to COCOBOD training services, product development and technology guidance to build local capacity in cocoa processing and value addition to meet both domestic and international consumption demands.
The Project Director of Bühler’s Cocoa Competence Centre, Mr Désiré N’zi, told Cocoa Post last year that the facility has been located in the world’s number one cocoa-growing nation – Ivory Coast – to strategically serve all cocoa-producing countries in the Africa region, especially Ghana, Cameroun and Nigeria.
According to him, the ultra-modern small scale cocoa processing line is dedicated to offering theoretical and practical training and R&D service for recipe development and process optimization.
The Bühler CFIA was opened at a time when African cocoa-producing countries, led by Ghana and Ivory Coast, are shifting strategic direction from the exportation of raw cocoa beans to building capacity for local processing and value addition prior to export.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, on 20th June 2021, in the Ivorian capital, Abidjan, the COCOBOD Chief Executive, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, said the agreement will deepen the strong relationship that Ghana already shares with Switzerland, also a key player in the global cocoa trade.
“We in Ghana, having begun a journey on the path of transformation in our cocoa sector have been looking out for such partnerships to aid us in that process”, Mr Aidoo said.
“We want to move from the traditional cocoa production to a modern way of cocoa production. We also want to move from the supply of the mere primary commodity to value addition and that is where we find you to be a potential partner“, he added.
Mr Aidoo explained that to build its capacity to add value to the cocoa it produces Ghana needed to acquire the latest technologies for efficient product development, processing and manufacturing.
“You have the technology, and we need the technology, so, we want to work together. This partnership that we are forging today should continue to grow into the future and remain beneficial to the mutual interest of Ghana and Switzerland”, the COCOBOD chief stated.
The President of Bühler Middle East and Africa, Heiko Feuring, commended the leadership of Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo and the management of COCOBOD towards building a sustainable and prosperous cocoa value chain for Ghana through the introduction of farming improvement activities and the implementation of the Living Income Differential (LID).
“We hope this memorandum of understanding will be the landmark of a new fruitful and long-lasting collaboration to unlock the Ghanaian cocoa value chain potential”, he said.
“We want to support Ghana in its march towards a higher value creation in the country for the benefit of all Ghanaians”, Mr Feuring added.
He assured, the Bühler Group will offer its expertise to Ghana in support of the agenda to build a solid local processing industry that will capture a higher share of the over $100 billion cocoa and chocolate industry.
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