The Ghana Cocoa Board has warned Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs) against actions it describes as “unethical” in their internal marketing of cocoa beans.
The board said the practices, which involved the payment of spot premiums and other forms of inducements to farmers directly, were offensive to the regulations and guidelines for the internal marketing of cocoa.
In a press release signed by the Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of Operations at COCOBOD, Dr Emmanuel Ofori, the board reiterated that the payment of any form of inducement to cocoa farmers at the point of sale was unethical and must stop forthwith.
The release also cautioned the LBC’s to refrain from any form of advertisement soliciting for cocoa from producers for premium payments on the spot or at a later date.
“Premium 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.
“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,” the statement said.
“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 release noted.
The final decision on the operation of certified/traceable cocoa projects, it said, would 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 warned.