The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is warning of sanctions against cocoa Licenced Buying Companies (LBCs) in the country engaged in what it described as unethical practices.
According to the regulator, some LBCs are paying spot premiums and giving other forms of inducement to cocoa farmers, practices it said, go against the Regulations and Guidelines for internal marketing of cocoa.
“Payment of any form of inducements to cocoa farmers at the point of sale is unethical and must stop forthwith,” a statement issued and signed by Deputy Chief Executive of Cocobod, Dr Emmanuel Opoku, said.
Also, it said LBCs are barred from any form of advertisement soliciting for cocoa from producers for premium payments on the spot or at a later date
It explained that premiums payments ar made only after the closing of the season to only cocoa farmers who registered and participated in certification or sustainability projects before the start of the cocoa season.
“No LBC shall purchase conventional cocoa and declare same as special unless with a written prior approval by COCOBOD and restricted to a specific location,” the statement also indicated.
It warned that “Management shall evoke the applicable sanctions on violations of the above directive”.
Cocobod said it has begun consultations with all stakeholders “to reform the regulation for the production and marketing of certified/sustainable cocoa”.
Final decision on the operation of certified and traceable cocoa projects, it said, will be communicated to all stakeholders in due course.
All LBCs are reminded that COCOBOD Management shall evoke the applicable sanctions on violations of the above directive.