GHANA – The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) have organized a groundbreaking Public Review Workshop to discuss the Draft National Implementation Guide for the ARS 1000 Series of Standards on Sustainable Cocoa in Ghana.

The workshop, held at Standards Height in Accra, aimed to gather feedback on the implementation guide while addressing key issues concerning the development of the cocoa industry in the country.

The ARS 1000 Series of Standards on Sustainable Cocoa serves as the approved African Standards for sustainably produced cocoa.

The series includes three parts: ARS 1000-1: 2021 on Requirements for Cocoa Farmer as Entity/Farmer Group/Cooperative Management System and Performance, ARS 1000-2: 2021 on Requirements for Cocoa Quality and Traceability, and ARS 1000-3: 2021 on Requirements for Cocoa Certification Scheme.

Efforts to develop suitable sustainability and traceability standards for cocoa production were initiated in 2019 by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) through the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).

However, a review revealed that some requirements did not consider the specific situation of African cocoa farmers. In response, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, responsible for about 65% of global cocoa production, took the lead in developing African Standards under the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO).

Joseph Boahen Aidoo, CEO of COCOBOD, conveyed his gratitude to the GSA for their collaborative efforts in producing the implementation guide.

He emphasized the document’s role in promoting good and sustainable cocoa products for both local consumption and export.

Aidoo expressed commitment to working together with the GSA, aiming to achieve environmentally sustainable agricultural growth and ensure that all Ghana cocoa is produced sustainably.

Prof. Alex Dodoo, Director-General of the GSA, hailed the unique collaboration between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire in the development of the ARS 1000 Series of Standards.

He emphasized the commitment of both institutions to improving the livelihoods of cocoa farmers in Ghana.

Dodoo highlighted the importance of successful implementation and comprehension of the standards, pledging the GSA’s dedication to making cocoa cultivation simpler and enhancing the industry.

The development of the ARS 1000 Series of Standards signals the collective determination of African countries to create a positive impact by leveraging their natural resources.

The collaboration between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire aims to enhance the living conditions of citizens while promoting economic, social, and environmental sustainability and traceability within the cocoa industry.

The workshop brought together stakeholders from various sectors, including COCOBOD, GSA, Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Cocoa Research Institute, World Cocoa Foundation, OXFAM, and local chiefs from cocoa-growing communities.

Their presence underscores the importance of collective efforts to achieve a sustainable cocoa industry in Ghana.

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