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GEPA commits to promote local chocolate

BY: Elizabeth Nyaadu Adu
Grace Jeanet Mason (right), the South African High Commissioner to Ghana tasting a made-in-Ghana product at the event
Grace Jeanet Mason (right), the South African High Commissioner to Ghana tasting a made-in-Ghana product at the event

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), has collaborated with the organisers of Wines of South Africa (WoSA) in their Road Show tasting events to promote Ghana’s growing chocolate industry.

It is on the back of the GEPA recognising the untapped potential of Ghana’s chocolate industry.

The collaboration is a strategic one that would create a good platform to promote Ghana’s premium chocolates which compare very well with that of chocolates from the traditional chocolate producing countries in the West.

Speaking to the media at the 2022 edition of the WoSA wine tasting event in Accra last Saturday, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GEPA, Dr Afua Asabea Asare, said the partnership aimed to promote both Ghana and South Africa as premium producers of chocolates and wine respectively, while helping to boost intra-continental trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

She said aside the three major chocolate exporting companies in Ghana; the Cocoa Processing Company, Niche Cocoa and Fair Afric Ghana, the GEPA was helping in the area of capacity building in the fast-growing artisanal sector, with over 30 companies producing innovative products.

She said her outfit sponsored members of the Cocoa Value Addition Artisans Association of Ghana (COVAAAGh) to participate in roadshow events in Lagos and Accra this month.

She added that the GEPA was preparing the participation of the industry in the main event to be held in South Africa, as well as the Salon du Chocolat Fair in France, all scheduled to take place later this year.

“In 2021, the GEPA organised and supported the industry to participate in Salon du Chocolat in Paris. On the sidelines of the fair, the GEPA organised a trade and investment fair in Paris to further promote our chocolate industry to investors,” she said.

 

Side bar

- As the national trade organisation responsible for the development and promotion of Ghana’s exports, the GEPA has identified chocolates and the entire processed cocoa value chain as one of the priority products in the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS).

- The key objective is to transform Ghana’s traditional raw commodities based economy into a competitive export-led industrialised economy with a robust manufacturing base.

- To this end, the GEPA is earnestly working with domestic chocolate-making and exporting companies in Ghana, including artisanal companies, as well as large exporting companies. Now, there about three large chocolate exporting companies in Ghana viz, the Cocoa Processing Company, Niche Cocoa and the Fair Afric Ghana.

- The artisanal sector is also fast growing with over 30 companies producing innovative brands and tastes, majority of whom are members of the newly-formed association, the Cocoa value Addition Artisans Association of Ghana (COVAAAGh).The GEPA is working to strengthen this association to position them to scale up their production and marketing.