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Business News of Monday, 21 February 2022

Source: GNA

Chocolate prices dependent on operational costs - Cocoa processors

A photo of cocoa products A photo of cocoa products

Some cocoa processors in the country say prices of chocolate and other cocoa products are dependent on operational costs incurred during production.

They said the purchasing and value addition of cocoa beans was 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 consumption of chocolate and cocoa products.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) during the celebrations of the National Chocolate Week at the Choco City, Tetteh Quarshie Roundabout, Adjontey Ficial Love, Marketing Manager, Prime Cocoa Products Ltd, attributed the concerns of “high chocolate prices” to inadequate technological advancement in the processing leading to prohibitive cost in production.

“With modern technology, there will be reduction of cost in the production process leading to the reduction in prices of cocoa products,” she said.

Madam Griselda Esther Ossei, Sales Executive, Fairafric Ghana Ltd, said “purchasing of the cocoa and its processing are capital intensive and one needs strong financial muscle to survive.”

She said production of chocolate and other cocoa products came with “huge costs” and that until they had majority of the population buying the products, their overhead cost would not reduce.

Madam Ossei commended the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) for bringing together processors and consumers to work towards promoting consumption and meeting demands.

Cocoa processing is designed in two stages. The first phase includes the system for 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 thermal treatment under high pressure at a temperature of 220°C so that all bacteria are destroyed. This is followed by bean toasting, during which the moisture is extracted.

Mr Agyei Bekoe, Vice President Cocoa Value Addition Artisans Association of Ghana (COVAAAGH), during the launch of the National Chocolate Week, called on the Government to create a “Special Purpose Fund” to finance their operations and equipment.

He said the Association was poised to change the narrative by adding more value to expand local consumption when given the necessary support.