West Africa Fair Fruit (WAFF), a not for profit organization based in Accra, has organized a three-day training workshop in Kumasi for training assistants and key stakeholders in the Ghanaian cocoa sector on how to prepare cocoa farmers to meet voluntary standards.
Some 50 people, including representatives from cocoa farmer associations, Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs), Ghana Cocoa Board, Non-Governmental Organizations, and COCOBOD Community Extension Agents attended the workshop.
It covered the objectives of an Internal Control System (ICS), the structure of an ICS, the key documents that are required and the key processes that are involved in establishing an ICS.
A statement issued in Accra on Thursday by Mr Vincent Frimpong Manu, Cocoa Projects Director of WAFF, said the workshop was aimed at enhancing understanding about voluntary standards, in particular UTZ Certified, which is a global initiative that sets voluntary standards for responsible production and sourcing in coffee, cocoa, tea and palm oil.
It was also to build capacity within the cocoa sector on how to implement these standards with groups of cocoa farmers.
+IBw-The particular objective of this workshop was to provide practical guidance on how to establish the management structure and control system in order to implement voluntary standards successfully and efficiently,+IB0- it said.
WAFF expects that those who benefited from the training will share the information within their organizations and lead efforts to support cocoa farmers to organize themselves and prepare to meet voluntary standards, such as UTZ Certified.
The vision of UTZ Certified is to achieve sustainable agricultural supply chains, where farmers are professionals that implement good practices+ADs- where industry takes responsibility by demanding and rewarding sustainable grown products+ADs- and consumers can trust their brands and buy products which meet their expectations.
WAFF is the principal point of contact for UTZ Certified in West Africa.
The main focus of the WAFF cocoa programme is the advocacy and establishment of the UTZ Certified cocoa initiative in West Africa, and supporting groups of cocoa farmers to achieve this voluntary standard.
The overall goal of this work is to support cocoa farmers to improve their incomes, through higher productivity, and to enhance their livelihoods.