Sustainability and Fairness

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”.

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