Ghana COCOBOD has dismissed media reports that the country imported cocoa from neighboring Cote d’Ivoire during the 2014/2015 cocoa season.
In a press statement issued in Accra on Thursday, COCOBOD disclosed that, it is rather a local company, Barry Callebaut that imported 15,000 tonnes of small size beans from Cote d’Ivoire.
Local processing companies, the statement added, processed 160,000 tonnes of small size beans during the 2014/15 season, out of which, Barry Callebaut imported 15,000 tonnes from Cote D’Ivoire.
“Ghana Cocoa Board sells the small size beans to local processing companies at a discount of 20% because this type of cocoa is of lower quality as compared to the big size beans. The big size beans is of a higher quality and is sold on the international market at a premium.
“Ghana is known for the production of premium quality cocoa beans. On the average, only 10 – 15% of cocoa produced in Ghana is small size beans which is sold at a 20% discount to the local processing companies. 85-90% is big size beans which is of premium quality and is sold on the international market at a premium,” the statement stressed.
Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, is reported to have told Parliament this week that the country has resorted to importing cocoa beans from Cote d’Ivoire to feed local factories due to a shortfall in the commodity.
The minister is alleged to have attributed the development to cocoa beans smuggling, pests and seasonal bad weather – a claim COCOBOD has vehemently denied.
Against that backdrop, COCOBOD emphasized that the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC) is a private company, therefore, has its own management and governing board.
“We will like to put on record that Cocoa Processing Company (CPC) is a private company listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange. Individuals and organisations, including Ghana Cocoa Board have shares in CPC.
“However, CPC is not managed by Ghana Cocoa Board. CPC has its own Management and Governing Board,” COCOBOD added.