The World Cocoa Foundation and Ghana Cocoa Board have announced plans to expand joint efforts to preserve the historic flavour of Ghanaian cocoa.
An agreement signed by the two parties lays out investment over a four-year period (2018 – 2021) under the World Cocoa Foundation’s (WCF’s) African Cocoa Initiative. The agreement provides for continued flavour quality research and training of Ghanaian cocoa farmers in harvest and post-harvest best practices that can affect the flavour of cocoa.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) Sensory Lab will benefit from larger-scale cocoa processing equipment and ongoing training and interactions with flavour quality consultants to improve cocoa and chocolate samples.
CRIG will expand its cocoa sensory panel and incorporate regular testing sessions and in-person trainings. Training will target farmers to educate them on cocoa flavour evaluation techniques and methods for growing and harvesting quality cocoa beans.
The activities build on previous WCF and Cocobod work that increased Ghana’s capacity to include the critical component of flavour within cocoa plant breeding projects.
WCF Ghana Country Director Vincent Manu said: “We understand that preserving cocoa flavour quality in Ghana and across West Africa will drive value and support incomes and food security for thousands of cocoa farmers, their families and communities. “Flavour quality training courses offered by CRIG have shown great potential rewards for Ghanaian cocoa farmers.”
In October 2017, Simon Marfo, a Ghanaian farmer who had participated in WCF/Cocobod flavour quality training, was one of only 18 winners of the international Cocoa of Excellence Award at the prestigious Salon du Chocolat in Paris.
WCF is also working to establish a second flavour laboratory in Côte d’Ivoire at the National Agronomic Research Center to undertake similar work.
Some of the investments made under ACI II are funded by the US Agency for International Development as part of Feed the Future, the US government’s global hunger and food security initiative.