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There is no ban on Ghanaian cocoa entering the EU market – Ambassador

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Mr. Irchad Razaarly, Ambassador of the European Union, says there is no ban on Ghanaian cocoa entering the European market as speculated in the media space.
“We want more cocoa and we support Ghana and Ivory Coast to produce cocoa and other commodities in a socially and environmentally sustainable way,” he said.
The ambassador said this on Monday at the second annual Orange Cocoa Day on the theme: “Exploring how improved access to land and tree tenure supports sustainability in the cocoa value chain.”
The event was organized by the Embassy of the Netherlands together with the Delegation of the European Union in Ghana in cooperation with the European Forestry Institute, Solidaridad West Africa, Meridia and others.
Mr Razaarly said the call for sustainable cocoa production is growing globally and particularly in Europe, stressing that EU citizens are increasingly demanding measures to ensure that cocoa and other commodities are produced in an environmentally sustainable manner.
He said the EU had proposed a regulation aimed at reducing the impact of products placed on the EU market for six commodities – palm oil, soya, timber, cattle, cocoa and coffee.
The purpose of the regulation, the ambassador said, was to minimize the EU’s contribution to global deforestation and encourage the consumption of products from deforestation-free supply chains.
On the EU’s continued support, Mr. Razaarly said the Union supported COCOBOD in implementing the cocoa management system through a sensitization campaign, training extension staff to verify data collected and providing equipment.
“We are working with COCOBOD and the Forestry Commission to map and assess deforestation risks. Ghana has good experience in forestry law enforcement, governance and trade that could be replicated in the cocoa sector.
He reiterated the EU’s commitment to dialogue on sustainable cocoa and support for the sector, saying that Ghana’s sustainability efforts are in line with the Union’s priorities.
“Providing a decent living income for cocoa farmers and ensuring the sustainability of the value chain, both in terms of labor rights and environmental protection, are key EU priorities,” he said.
Ms Katja Lasseur, Deputy Dutch Ambassador to Ghana, said the topic was timely because investment in the cocoa sector had boomed when land was secured without any litigation.
“As part of our global strategy, the Netherlands will continue to support efforts to promote the sustainability of the cocoa sector and improve the land and tree tenure arrangements that mostly affect cocoa farmers in the cocoa growing areas of Ghana,” she said.
Nana Kwaw Asante Bediatu II, the Sefwi Divisional Chief of Asempaneye, has called for better remuneration of farmers to motivate other potential farmers to venture into cocoa farming.
He called for greater investment in farmland documentation to ensure the sustainability of cocoa production for socio-economic development.
The participants called for a dialogue to solve the problems in the sector, saying that farming and production of cocoa beans in the country is largely poorly regulated.

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