Kuapa Kokoo is the best thing that has happened in the lives of farmers since the liberalisation of the cocoa sector in Ghana. I’m in a good position to say this because I have experienced its benefits first hand, and have risen to the top of the organisation.
I went through a series of elections before being elected as national President. I was first elected recorder of my society (Twifo Wamaso), and then became the Area President of Twifo Praso Area in the Central Region of Ghana.
At the moment the major challenge for farmers this year is that the weather has changed. The rains did not come when they were supposed to. I pray that the light crop which starts in September will be better. We are happy Cadbury is going to change a bit of its business to Fairtrade, and is following the footsteps of our Divine Chocolate and doing the right thing. This is what we have always wanted - to increase our sales to the Fairtrade market in order to get more premiums to improve our lives.
I however wish to entreat people to be loyal to Divine and buy more. Divine is ours, we own 45% of shares and this means that we get a big part of their profits. For instance last year, we used part of the dividend Divine paid us to purchase over 45,000 cutlasses (machetes) for our members. All of us want Divine to be profitable because it is our business, and through it we not only get money – but we come to understand more about the industry we supply, and how to have a stronger voice in it. We own our own little share of the huge and valuable chocolate market!