The Chief Executive of Ghana COCOBOD, Mr. Joseph Aidoo, has tasked stakeholders to lead the campaign for afforestation, good agricultural practices and adherence to COVID-19 protocols to safeguard the cocoa industry.
Addressing participants at a plenary session of Olam’s Annual Cocoa Managers’ Conference, Mr Aidoo said climate change and COVID-19 had impacted the cocoa industry extensively.
Cocoa trees, he said, needed specific weather conditions to enable them to bear healthy cocoa pods, therefore, as soon as the climatic balance was disturbed, cocoa cultivation, livelihoods of cocoa farmers, as well as the quality of chocolate became negatively affected.
Olam Cocoa Ghana, one of the largest private Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs) in Ghana’s cocoa sector, hosted and led discussions with key stakeholders on topical issues of concern to the industry at its annual Managers’ Conference.
The 2021 edition of the Managers’ Conference was organised under the theme: ‘Delivering FY21 in the face of current industry dynamics’.
The weeklong programme, which opened on September 2, 2021, at the Pentecost Convention Centre at Kasoa, brought together some 500 managers of the business drawn from across Olam Cocoa’s operational areas.
Industry players and influencers, as well as government officials, led discussions on trends and developments in the cocoa sector and how best the company could position itself favourably.
The country head of Olam Ghana, Mr. Amit Agrawal during a session with staff said, “Olam Ghana has, within a short period, birthed six different businesses, which are all leading in market share.
“Olam is the fifth largest company in Ghana, according to the latest Ghana Club 100 rankings, based on the size of revenue.”
He said these milestones had been possible because of hard work, good processes, and the continuous promotion of the welfare of staff.
On the impact of COVID-19 on the company, Mr. Agrawal said because the business had digitalised its operations and had already become paperless and cashless before the advent of COVID-19, product sales and procurement of produce had been least affected by the pandemic.
The participants were taken through various procurement courses, such as how to achieve their FY21 targets with zero outstanding and how to maximise value.
There were also non-procurement courses such as financial management, project management, communication and presentation skills to equip employees for the main crop season.
Other activities for the participants included a medical screening exercise, sports, and an excellence award ceremony during which employees were appreciated for their exceptional performance.
The Business Head, Mr. Eric Asare Botwe, stated: “In the face of the financial challenges and the impact of COVID 19, Olam International has continued to show maximum support for Ghana and COCOBOD.
“We are one of the leading buyers of beans from Cocoa Marketing Company (CMC) through our external trading arm as well as for our Olam Cocoa Processing supplies.”
He commended the team for its hard work and urged staff to stay the course of maintaining Olam’s leadership position in the internal marketing space.