Some cocoa processors in the country claim that prices for chocolate and other cocoa products depend on operational costs incurred during production.
They said that buying and adding value to cocoa beans is capital intensive, hence the excessive cost of chocolate in the country.
They therefore called on the government to set up a Cocoa Fund to support the fragile processing industry to promote the consumption of chocolate and cocoa products.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) during National Chocolate Week celebrations in Choco City, Tetteh Quarshie Roundabout, Adjontey Ficial Love, Marketing Manager, Prime Cocoa Products Ltd, attributed concerns over “ high chocolate prices” to inadequate technology. progress in processing entailing prohibitive production costs.
“With modern technology, there will be a reduction in costs in the production process, which will lead to a reduction in the prices of cocoa products,” she said.
Madame Griselda Esther Ossei, Sales Manager, Fairafric Ghana Ltd, said that “purchasing cocoa and processing it is capital intensive and requires strong financial strength to survive.”
She said the production of chocolate and other cocoa products entails “enormous costs” and that until the majority of the population buys the products, their overhead costs will not decrease.
Ms. Ossei commended the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) for bringing processors and consumers together to promote consumption and meet demands.
Cocoa processing is designed in two stages. The first phase includes the system of processing cocoa beans into cocoa mass where the dried green beans are cleaned, weighed and stored as clean raw material.
In the second phase, the beans are subjected to a heat treatment under high pressure at a temperature of 220°C so that all the bacteria are destroyed. This is followed by roasting the beans, during which moisture is extracted.
During the launch of the National Chocolate Week, Mr. Agyei Bekoe, Vice President of the Cocoa Value Added Artisans Association of Ghana (COVAAAGH), called on the government to establish a “special fund” to finance their operations and their equipment.
He said the Association is poised to change the narrative by adding more value to grow local consumption when it receives the necessary support.