Olam Cocoa, one of the largest private Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs) in Ghana's cocoa sector, has donated 200 beds and mattresses to the University College of Agriculture and Environmental Studies (UCAES) at Bunso in the Eastern Region.
The items were received by Osabarima Adusei Peasah IV, Tafohene on behalf of the overlord of Akyem Abuakwa, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panyin. The presentation was made by Mr Jonathan Quaynor, Head of Procurement, on behalf of Mr Eric Botwe, Business Head of Olam Cocoa.
UCAES is a tertiary education initiative conceived by the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council under the authority of the Okyenhene. It is run under the philosophy of providing students with practical education in areas critical to the sustainable growth of the Ghanaian economy and protection of the environment.
Presenting the items, Mr Quaynor described how Olam Cocoa's relationship with Bunso dates back to 2003 when the company started its annual managers' training programmes to equip its frontline managers with knowledge about emerging trends in the cocoa industry.
He said the company's continued partnership with Bunso underscores its commitment to supporting education through its flagship sustainability framework, the Olam Livelihood Charter.
Now in its seventh year and embracing about 445,900 smallholder farmers around the world, the Olam Livelihood Charter (OLC) identifies holistic factors that impact productivity, both within and beyond the farm-gate. The Charter's eight principles tackle economic, environmental and social challenges faced by farmers, including business management, empowering women, tackling child labour and building resilience to climate change.
Mr Quaynor recalled that, over the past three years, Olam Cocoa has facilitated the planting of over 400,000 tree seedlings of different species in cocoa farms, thereby enhancing cocoa agroforestry. The company is working with partners to ensure that farmers registered these trees and get to own them.
"In line with our commitment as part of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative, we have GPS mapped all of our buying centres, and 25 per cent of all farms under our programme have been GPS-mapped. This partly ensures that farmers within our supply chain do not pose any threat to the forest through their farming activities," said Mr Quaynor.
"To commemorate our 20 years as an LBC, and as part of our social and corporate responsibilities, we are supporting an institution that is nurturing young Ghanaians to pursue a career in agriculture and re-imagine the future of our food system," said Mr Quaynor.