Licensed Cocoa Buying Companies (LBCs) have been asked to avoid unhealthy competition and bad business practices likely to compromise the quality of Ghana?s beans.
The Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Dr Stephen Opuni, said the LBCs should operate strictly within the rules governing the internal cocoa trade, promote good agronomic practices and to handle the grading and delivery of stocks with efficiency.
He said the expectation is that they would continue to stick to due diligence to maintain the premium on the country?s cocoa.
Dr Opuni made the call in an address on his behalf at the opening of a four-day annual conference organised by OLAM Ghana Limited, one of the LBCs, at Bunso Cocoa College.
The four-day meeting held on the theme: ?Transcending boundaries,? brought together 170 district and warehouse managers, accountants, zone and branch coordinators, to review the performance of the company and discuss the way forward.
Issues that took the centre stage included the use of the ?Akuafo cheque? and ?e-zwich? payment systems for cocoa bought from farmers and risk control and management.
Dr Opuni lauded the company for its important contribution to the development of the cocoa industry and urged it to be supportive of reforms and interventions introduced to sustain the sector on the path of growth.
He used the occasion to underline the determination of the COCOBOD to make sure that there is transparency and to prevent abuse of the free distribution of fertilizers to farmers.
Mr Eric Asare Botwe, Head of OLAM?s, said the company is poised to significantly increase its share of the internal cocoa trade in the coming season.
It purchased 65,000 metric tons during the last season from the 42 cocoa districts where it operates and the target set for this year is 75,000 metric tons.
To deliver efficient and quality services to the more than 100,000 farmers the company is doing business with, OLAM has made skills training and staff motivation, a major priority.
Mr Gurinder Goindi Singh, the Company?s Business Head, said its goal is to maintain a strong performance and become a leader in the industry.
It said the company would work with zeal to achieve its goals and streamline things to prevent
cheating and losses.
Osabarima Adusei Peasah, Paramount Chief of Tafo, described the re-introduction of the ?Akuafo cheque system? as refreshing and said its benefits to farmers would be enormous.