His royal Majesty, the Okyehene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin II paid a working visit to the headquarters of Yayra Glover Limited at Suhum in the Eastern Region of Ghana.
The visit formed part of the king’s tour of businesses and chiefdoms of his dominion in the Eastern Region.
His Royal Majesty was accompanied by Osaberema Ayeh Kofi, Omanhene of Suhum, Osaberema Asamoah Asare Ampofo, chief of Amanase, Nana Boa-Asare Atakora Ansah, chief of Apeatu and elders of Okyeman.
A colorful durbar of chiefs and people of Okyeman was held at Suhum to climax his tour, during which the rich and long-preserved cultural heritage of Okyeman was showcased.
During the king’s visit to Yayra Glover Limited, the CEO of the company, Mr. Yayrator Glover conducted the Okyehene round the flagship experimental plots of the company to see some exotic crops and plants that were grown as a proof of concept that such crops could be grown in commercial quantities to improve livelihood of cocoa farmers.
The king was impressed with the agricultural project of the company and urged Mr. Glover to continue his good works to create job opportunities to impact the lives of residents in the community.
In an address, Mr. Glover said the king’s visit was stimulus for the company’s campaign to protect the environment, an activity that the Okyehene has been promoting long time before he ascended the great Ofori Panyin Stool.
He said the king’s activities to protect the environment, conserve natural resources and improve upon the livelihood of farming communities are congruent to our core mandate which makes us natural allies.
Mr. Glover declared that a new chapter was opened for private enterprise to be deeply involved in the development of Okyeman.
“This friendship will be built on mutual respect and promote socio-economic and cultural development of the people and business enterprises in Okyeman.”
The CEO said the company serves high segment chocolate producers in Europe hence it focuses on producing high quality residue-free organic cocoa to standards set by foreign markets.
“I wish to state that cocoa from our farmers in the Suhum area is of high quality. In view of that, one of our major clients in the cocoa value chain in Europe has created a chocolate brand christened ‘Suhum’ which makes Suhum a household name in parts of Europe.
“Here in Suhum, we are building a multi-million-cedi Competent Centre of Excellence to train people capable to produce exotic, and native non-traditional crops to be processed for export. This will create a ripple effect in the community and prove that farmers must not depend on cocoa production but other alternative livelihoods,” he stated.
The specific objectives of the company are:
- To facilitate strong and vibrant smallholder FBOs in the Eastern and Volta Regions of Ghana as a conduit for education and behaviour change for farmers to accept and practice the internationally recognised safety standards for the production of premium organic and UTZ-Chemical Residue Free cocoa;
- Build capacity of peasant cocoa farmers in the Eastern and Volta Regions of Ghana in premium organic and Social Impact Cocoa Production;
- To pay to recruited farmers a premium price for producing organic and UTZ-Chemical Residue Free cocoa;
- To train recruited organic and UTZ-Chemical Residue Free Farmers on the need to carry out good farm management practices to ensure increased production and premium price for their produce;
- To participate fully in any arrangement that will be made to enhance the welfare of recruited farmers; and
- To further transparent and equitable relations in the cocoa value chain.
The primary mission of the company as the only Ghana COCOBOD licensed organic cocoa buying company is to recruit farmers, train them and give them incentives to produce good fermented, calibrated and sealed organic and UTZ-Chemical Residue Free cocoa beans, ensure the storage and transport of same to her special warehouse at the port of Tema to be directly exported under stringent control of CMC to her partners world over.
One of the most effective ways of increasing certified organic cocoa production in Ghana, is to encourage fairtrade partnerships between Ghanaians, and foreign companies engaged in certified fairtrade organic cocoa production elsewhere in the world.
If such fairtrade joint-venture partnerships between Ghanaians and foreign investors, are automatically issued with permits to buy and export certified organic cocoa beans – produced by farmer groups they work with to convert to certified organic cocoa production – that will be the perfect incentive to attract more overseas fairtrade companies experienced in organic certified cocoa production elsewhere, to invest in joint-venture partnerships to produce certified cocoa for export with Ghanaians.
Those joint-venture partnerships to produce certified fairtrade organic cocoa in Ghana, will grow that niche quickly – to make Ghana a global power in certified fairtrade organic cocoa production.The present ministerial team at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, ought to take a keen interest in the effort to increase certified fairtrade organic cocoa production in Ghana.
For their information, it was the personal intervention by one of their predecessors in office, the late Hon. Baah-Wiredu, who after reading an article of mine, subsequently ensured that a permit to buy and export cocoa beans was issued by the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to a Ghanaian resident in Switzerland, Mr. Yayra Glover, which made it possible for him to team up with Pakka AG and Max Felchlin AG – both Swiss organic chocolate manufacturers – and guaranteed the success of the Yayra Glover Project in the Suhum, Craboar Coaltar District: in producing certified organic fairtrade cocoa for export to Switzerland.
The current ministerial team at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, ought to aim to replicate such fairtrade partnerships to produce certified cocoa for export, many times over, during their administration\’s tenure – a worthy legacy for them to aim to leave as an achievement for President Mahama\’s administration.
In the long-term, it makes perfect sense for Ghana to aim to become the world\’s leading producer of certified organic cocoa beans – to secure the future of cocoa production in Ghana.
The surest way to achieve that goal, is for the COCOBOD to encourage more fairtrade joint- venture partnerships of the Yayra Glover Project type.
That will definitely make Ghana the world\’s leading producer of high quality cocoa beans – by definition certified fairtrade organic cocoa beans – for which global demand will always outstrip supply and command a premium. Luckily, the present chief executive of the COCOBOD, Mr. Tony Fofie, and his deputy, Dr. Yaw-Adu Ampomah, are both committed to and supportive of an increase in the production of certified organic cocoa beans in Ghana.
The future in the global market for cocoa beans, definitely lies with the nations that switch to producing certified organic cocoa beans. A time will come when the major buyers of cocoa beans will purchase only certified organic cocoa beans.
That is why Ghana must aim to become the source of certified organic cocoa beans for major buyers in Japan, Germany, Scandinavia, the UK, Europe, the United States of America, Canada, Singapore, China and elsewhere. And it is joint-venture partnerships to produce certified organic cocoa that will secure the future of Ghana\’s cocoa industry. A word to the wise…
Source: Kofi Thompson
Yayra Glover is a businessman with a vision (Kaspar Meuli/swissinfo.ch)
December 12, 2011 – 08:40
Ghana is the most important supplier of cocoa for Swiss chocolate makers. But the future of cocoa growing in the west African country is uncertain.
That’s why a joint Swiss-Ghanaian project is attempting to rejuvenate the cocoa industry which is facing the problems of a shortage of young farmers and plantations full of old trees.
“Fair trade begins with the scales,” Yayra Glover says. swissinfo.ch meets the entrepreneur in Ateibu, a remote village in the Eastern Region of Ghana, an administrative area of the country that is one of the largest cocoa growing places in the world.
Glover is standing in a hut with a corrugated roof. This is where his company buys the cocoa beans from farmers.
There is an acidic odour of fermenting beans in the air. Along the walls are sacks piled high, and in the middle industrial scales. With the help of calibrated weights, the suppliers can be shown that the scales have not been manipulated, which is often the case in the trade of cocoa beans.
Glover is a businessman with a vision. After working in Switzerland for more than 20 years where he studied law and political science, he returned to his homeland to promote the sustainable cocoa trade.
“We show the farmer how cocoa cultivation can be a serious business in which you can make good money,” the 46-year-old explains. “But we first have to tell him that he can be proud of his cocoa.
“The reason is that there are buyers in Switzerland prepared to pay more than the market price, as long as the cocoa is grown without the use of child labour and pesticides.”
Yayra Glover Ltd. is already working with 2,500 small farm holdings which run organic cocoa farms. More are being added all the time.
“We are constantly receiving requests from traders who are looking for these kinds of beans,” explains Balz Strasser, CEO of Pakka, Glover’s Swiss partner. The young Zurich company is specialised in the development of organic and fair trade projects in countries in the south, particularly products like nuts, dried fruits and cocoa.“It’s extremely difficult for the producers in these countries to get a foot in the door of the European market,” Strasser says. “We support them and set up the necessary supply chain.” The Swiss-Ghanaian organic cocoa project is in a phase where it is expanding quickly. With the support of the economic cooperation and development assistance of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco), the two companies are enlarging their fields of operation to the Volta Region in the southeast of the country.
Key to success is the traceability of the beans. Using GPS-equipped devices, Glover’s staff measure the plantations of the participating farmers, which allows Glover’s company to calculate the size of the harvest. This helps prevent farmers from adding beans from non-certified trees to their organic harvest. Records are kept of the deliveries of each farmer, and a code in black paint is put on every bag that leaves a Glover plant. It’s a simple but effective system. “There are no other suppliers in Ghana who can trace the origin of the beans so precisely,” Strasser says. Awareness of cocoa growing conditions is becoming more important since chocolate makers have increasingly found themselves under fire from NGOs for supporting child labour. And many consumers want to be certain that the chocolate they buy has no bitter aftertaste. Chocolate makers are also worried about potential shortages of the most important ingredient used in their product. Global demand is growing but supply is becoming increasingly uncertain. It’s not only in the Eastern Region that cocoa trees are over-aged, providing less and less fruit. What is more, the average age of a Ghanaian cocoa farmer is 55 – just three years below the average life expectancy. No wonder that chocolate companies are avoiding middle men and establishing direct links with cocoa producers.\r\n
Not far from Glover’s base in Ateibu are the buildings housing the local primary school. Lydia Baffour Awuah, a member of Glover’s staff, is a regular visitor who comes to talk about the issue of child labour.¨C28C ¨C29CThe young agronomist explains that the worst form of child labour – through human trafficking – doesn’t exist in Ghana. But she says all forms of work are forbidden which hinder a child’s development. Children must attend school regularly and are not allowed to do heavy physical work.¨C30C ¨C31C“A lot of tact is needed when talking about child labour,” she explains. “Children should be able to work on their parents’ farm to learn the secrets of cocoa growing.” If this knowledge is lost, the future of cocoa growing will be in doubt.¨C32C ¨C33CShe is herself an excellent example of how young Ghanaians believe in cocoa growing as a way of countering the widespread depopulation of the countryside. Like many Glover employees she comes from the capital, Accra. But today, she is fully engaged in agriculture.¨C34C ¨C35C“I want to buy my own land as soon as possible, and plant trees. I see my future in the cocoa business and not in the city,” she says.
Kaspar Meuli, swissinfo.ch
(Adapted from German by Dale Bechtel)
Ghana cocoa industry
Ghana, in West Africa, has long played an important role in the cocoa trade. Only Ivory Coast exports more cocoa beans than Ghana.
The Ghana industry consists of hundreds of thousands of small-scale farmers. The last harvest saw the million-ton mark surpassed for the first time.
A Swiss company, Basler Handelsgesellschaft (BHG), played a decisive role in Ghana’s rise to prominence as a cocoa producer. Founded by the Basel Mission, the company shipped the first sack of Ghanaian cocoa to Europe in 1893.
Historian Andrea Franc showed in her study, “How chocolate came to Switzerland”, that BHG ensured the survival of the Swiss chocolate industry thanks to its direct imports of Ghanaian cocoa.
Swiss funded project to see Ghana cultivate 17,000 hectares of organic cocoa for world market.
Ghana will soon cultivate almost 17,000 hectares of organic cocoa for the world market with the help of a project supported by the Swiss government through private cocoa companies.
A Ghanaian company, Yayra Glover Limited with Swiss chocolate partners – Pakka AG and Max Felchlin AG started an organic cocoa production project in 2007 in the Suhum-Kraboa-Coaltar District of the Eastern Region.
The project was formally launched as the “Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Project” in Accra November 10, 2011 and it is expected to boost organic cocoa production in Ghana. Officials at the Switzerland Embassy say “it will benefit over 7,000 Ghanaian farming households – cultivating almost 17,000 hectares of cocoa plantations within an agro-forest system.”
Brigitte Cuendet, Head of Economic Section and Development Cooperation at the Embassy said the project approaches cocoa farming as an opportunity for profitable business for small scale farmers by providing training and advice to foster entrepreneurship and build family farms as small commercial enterprises.
“Since 2010, Switzerland through its State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) has been supporting the project…in order to allow a significant up-scaling of produced volumes and enlarge the operations also to the ecologically valuable Volta Region,” She said.
Launch of the Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Project
With the introduction of best practices in cocoa production to livelihoods, partners of the project (Yayra Glover Limited, Pakka AG and Max Felchlin AG) say the project is now extending from the Eastern Region where most of the farms are over-aged to the Volta Region to cultivate new cocoa farms.
Industry players say the world market for organic cocoa is a small one but demand for the raw beans are very high.
According to the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) – a global organization, composed of both cocoa producing and cocoa consuming countries, the global market for organic cocoa is less than 0.5% but demand is increasing as more chocolate consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about food safety and the environment.
“The world market for organic cocoa is very small and the demand is increasing but not at the rate we have it now,” Dr. Yaw-Adu Ampomah, Deputy CEO of Ghana COCOBOD told ghanabusinessnews.com in an exclusive interview after he officially launched the project.
Dr. Ampomah, who has also played a key role in the success of the organic crop since his days at the Cocoa Research Institute, said Ghana should position itself well “so that when the demand is growing, we have the capacity to supply – the demand will control the production price.”
Organic cocoa is produced without chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and genetically modified items.
According to the partners, fair trade for the crop goes further by adopting fair trade standards and certification of organic cocoa production. “This involves paying living wages and improving farm practices and livelihood of cocoa farmers,” they stated.
After 20 years of comfortable living in Switzerland, he decided that it was time to do something for his country of origin in 2007. Yayra Glover in Ghana is the same as saying cocoa, but not just any cocoa, but one that has an added incalculable value. It is an organic cocoa which sells for more than the price called for in fair trade, which respects the environment and makes an enormous and positive social impact. “I wanted to give something back to my country by working on the realization of my vision of creating a strong ‘Swiss type’ civil society among others in Ghana. I have therefore decided as a strategy to go home, put farmers-the most vulnerable in society-together to produce sustainably fair-trade organically grown cocoa to improve their living conditions and their worth in our fledgling democratic dispensation”, our protagonist points out.
Ghana is the second cocoa-exporting country in the world. During the last 60 years, all of the cocoa cultivated in the country had to be sold to the “Ghana Cocoa Board”.This organization under the government’s control is in charge of the marketing of all of the cocoa, be it for exportation or for domestic use (local processors). By means of determination, work and insistence Yayra Glover was able to convince the Ghana Cocoa Board about the convenience and advantages of his project, and became the first to sell his cocoa directly to clients, naturally under the supervision of the Board.
This is how Yayra Glover Limited was born, whose labor consists of the “recruiting and training of small holder cocoa farmers to produce organic, fair trade and environmentally friendly cocoa with a positive social impact for our cherished customers. Our approach is Market Oriented Agricultural Advisory Service Provision and Community Based Extension System delivery”, as its promoter explains.
The geographic area where Glover develops his work in called Suhum-Kroaba-Brea district and it can be found approximately 60 km north-west of the capital Accra and towards the east of the protected Attewa Rain Forest Reserve.The cocoa growing area extends along a surface area of 400 km2, with about 2,600 local farmers. Yayra’s objective is that all cocoa which is produced in this district adjusts to the requirements of organic cocoa and fair marketing that he advocates, to obtain a product of maximum quality.This is the best guarantee for economic and social prosperity in the zone.
For the moment, the balance can’t be more positive, despite the logical setbacks,“starting a new company with an idea that is virtually new in the Ghanaian cocoa industry has not been without serious challenges. However, appreciably some good success has been chalked over the said period.The Company has among others facilitated the certification of some 800 farmers under the organic and UTZ certification” he explains.
Active collaboration, sensitivity and cocoa buyers’ commitment are essential in all of this process. This is Felchlin’s case, Yayra Glover’s main client, who provides technical and financial support so that the whole process, with its key stages such as fermentation, is carried out in the most optimum conditions. Likewise, they motivate local farmers by means of paying a price that is always above the level of the market prices defined by Fair Trade.
The result is a cocoa based “on the four organic principles of fairness, health, ecology and care to recruit and train farmers to produce our chemical residue and impurity free beans,” as Yayra Glover himself explains.
To sum up, ‘sustainability’ and ‘fairness’, these are the two great virtues the enormous work that this Ghanaian is developing in his country, which guarantees the acquisition of an exceptional cocoa in terms of quality but above all which means the best future opportunity for his people. His next short-term challenges are “to buy 5,000 tons of cocoa beans”, and in the near future “to continue to produce sustainably, add more value to our cocoa beans and to ensure transparency and security in the cocoa value chain”.
“At Yayra Glover Ltd we leaned on the four organic principles of fairness, health, ecology and care to recruit and train farmers to produce our chemical residue and impurity free beans”.
“At Yayra Glover Ltd we leaned on the four organic principles of fairness, health, ecology and care to recruit and train farmers to produce our chemical residue and impurity free beans”.
TRANSPORTATION AND WAREHOUSING SERVICES
At Yayra Glover Limited, we understand the importance of having a business partner who can do more than supply a product.
Our Warehouses have the ability to store products for those customers who operate on a Just-In-Time basis.
With our fleet of well equipped trucks, we provide full logistics support to any business enterprise. We take the worry out of shipping products, and therefore help our customers to focus on their core competencies.
In order for our customers to make the most informed procurement decisions, they must have accurate and timely information about available product volumes, beans grade and quality. We at Yayra Glover Limited are proud to invite and hold discussions with our valued customers.
Yayra Glover Limited was founded in 2007 with a staff of only 2 people as a private business entity. It is the pioneer licensed organic cocoa producing and buying company operating in Ghana. The orientation, incentives, training and technical supervision of farmers has evolved toward a wider social development oriented approach that includes not only learning about important issues like organic foods, pesticides, and sustainable agriculture, but also the means to effect positive change in their own lives. Thus our business is also to contribute towards operational small scale social research activities that could be ploughed back into improving the lives of farmers and their families generally. It is in this respect that students from tertiary institutions have been encouraged to explore research opportunities in programme communities, collect and process data to make viable recommendations that are systematically implemented at the local level for improving the well being of these farming communities.
We have indeed grown by leaps and bounds ever since our first up-county warehouses were opened
Up Country Warehouses
Our up country ware houses offer our farmers the opportunity to access a wide variety of information on local, regional, national, and international issues of concern.
Designated Areas of Operation
Yayra Glover Limited operates in the Eastern and Volta Regions of Ghana enabling smallholder cocoa farmers build the technical capacity to improve the quality of their beans to fit international standards for obtaining organic, fair trade and chemical-residue-free UTZ certification (show the map depicting area of operation)