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HomeNewsChocolate Week fosters sense of national pride, unity – COCOBOD

Chocolate Week fosters sense of national pride, unity – COCOBOD

Chocolate Week fosters sense of national pride, unity – COCOBOD

Chocolate Week fosters sense of national pride, unity – COCOBOD

The Deputy Public Affairs Manager of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Benjamin T. Larweh, has said that the annual National Chocolate Week celebration is contributing to patriotism and solidarity.

“Beyond the culinary delights, Chocolate Week fosters a sense of national pride and unity. It is a time when Ghanaians come together to celebrate their cultural identity and the unique position of Ghana as a major player in the global cocoa market,” he said.

The celebration, dubbed ‘Eat chocolate, stay healthy, grow Ghana’, is not merely a feast of flavours. Instead, it stands as a symbol of national pride and solidarity – bringing people together in a shared celebration.

Mr. Larweh said this during an interview with B&FT in Accra, highlighting the week’s significance to the domestic chocolate industry’s sustainability.

Chocolate Week is marked every February 14 – Valentine’s Day.

“For farmers, the week symbolises recognition and appreciation for their tireless efforts in cultivating the world’s finest cocoa beans. It’s a time when their contributions to the global chocolate industry are celebrated, and the spotlight turns to the vital role they play in shaping Ghana’s economic landscape,” he said.

In 2005, the country instituted the annual National Chocolate Day to coincide with Valentine’s Day (February 14th), which is targetted at boosting domestic consumption of local chocolate and other cocoa-based products.

Following the success of this event, COCOBOD in collaboration with the Ghana Tourism Authority decided to convert it to a week-long celebration – giving processors and chocolatiers an opportunity to showcase their products and make maximum impact on the consumption drive.

Secondary processing (cocoa paste production) generates around 80 percent of the worldwide cocoa industry’s yearly income – between US$130billion and US$150billion.

Producers with little processing capability, such as Ghana, obtain peanuts from the export of raw cocoa beans. For example, Ghana and Ivory Coast which produce 65 percent of the world’s cocoa receive only 4 percent from the industry’s value of over US$150billion, since the majority of their beans are shipped raw.

Cocoa farming is a major contributor to Ghana’s economy, and Chocolate Week serves as an avenue to highlight the important role farmers play in the country’s economy. It serves as a reminder of the cultural diversity inherent in each cocoa pod picked in the country, independent of economic factors.

Despite the progress, Mr. Larweh candidly pointed out challenges faced by the National Consumption Campaign. He asserts that in order to improve processing stage efficiency, it is evident that investments in modern infrastructure and technology are required – and that cooperation between the public and private sectors is also a critical part of the answer.

“Limited processing facilities and outdated technology in some areas hinder the scalability of local cocoa processing. Investments in modern infrastructure are necessary for efficiency,” he added.

According to him, another barrier is the wrong perception that chocolate made locally is not as good as imported chocolate.

“Overcoming these hurdles is essential for sustained success of the National Consumption Campaign in Ghana,” Mr. Larweh underscored.

Anticipations – 2024 Chocolate Week Celebration

In the lead-up to this year’s Chocolate Week in the second week of February, there will be a buzz of activity as chocolatiers and local businesses prepare to showcase the best of Ghanaian cocoa and chocolate products.

Chocolatiers and artisans are meticulously crafting their creations, infusing traditional flavours with innovative twists to captivate the taste buds of eager consumers. The anticipation of unveilling these tasty treats adds an extra layer of excitement to their creative process.

The week’s festivities are not only about savouring exquisite chocolates but also engaging in various promotional activities – including talk shows, brand activations, cook art competitions, street quizzes, seminars and exhibitions which have characterised the celebration over the years.

The post Chocolate Week fosters sense of national pride, unity – COCOBOD appeared first on The Business & Financial Times.

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