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Importation of cocoa beans permitted by law; disregard false claims – COCOBOD

The management of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) says that claims about “illegal imports” on social media and in sections of the traditional press are false and should be disregarded

Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has declared that the importation of cocoa beans into Ghana is permitted by law and the practice has been going on since November 2001.

In a statement issued by the public affairs department of Ghana Cocoa Board dated 4 February 2024, reacting to an official letter to Afrotropic Cocoa Processing Company Ltd which has gone viral, COCOBOD called on the general public to disregard false claims on social media and in a section of the traditional press.

The letter from Afrotropic which set off the media speculation sets out a request to import cocoa beans to process in Ghana.

“Management of Ghana Cocoa Board has noted the widespread circulation of an official letter from the regulator to Afrotropic Cocoa Processing Company Ltd,” a statement from COCOBOD said. “We would like to clarify as follows:

The letter dated 25 January 2024 and addressed to the managing director of Afrotropic Cocoa Processing Company Ltd

“All processing companies in Ghana established post-November 2001 are permitted by law to import cocoa beans for processing in Ghana

“The practice is to help the companies meet their desired recipes for chocolate production and other uses.

“Ghana’s cocoa is a premium cocoa and as part of cost management and operational strategy, companies often blend premium Ghana Cocoa with less premium cocoa beans from other producing countries.

The COCOBOD press release

 

“It is an industry practice that has existed for over 20 years to allow factories to import from other countries, including Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Nigeria and Ecuador,” the COCOBOD statement said.

“The public is therefore urged to disregard the false claim deduced from the leaked letter,” the COCOBOD statement concluded.

A similar letter from COCOBOD, dated 22 November 2016 and addressed to the then managing director of Barry Callebaut Ghana Ltd

Reporting by Wilberforce Asare in Accra

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