EcoCare Ghana has launched the Cocoa Governance & Advocacy (CGA) Project to leverage ongoing EU & UK Due Diligence Regulation processes to create awareness, mobilize CSOs and strengthen the capacity of stakeholders to reform the cocoa sector in Ghana. The main objective of the GCA project is to “realize a reformed cocoa sector where decisions are being made through an effective multi-stakeholder process”.
Giving the opening remarks at the launch of the project, Mr Obed Owusu-Addai, the Managing Campaigner of EcoCare Ghana, stated that, it is important for stakeholders in Ghana to begin internal conversations on the challenges faced by the sector and come up with solutions to address these problems. He also noted that civil society and farmer-based organizations will need to understand the underlying causes of the problems within the cocoa sector and use constructive advocacy to get responses and solutions to the problems. He stated that the project will focus on exploring multi-stakeholder approaches involving CSOs, the private sector, cocoa farmers and the COCOBOD to find solutions to governance challenges in the cocoa sector of Ghana.
Ms Joy Essandoh, the Country Representative for Gower Street Foundation, indicated that her outfit decided to support the project because they know the importance of cocoa to Ghana’s economy and governance reforms will lead to improvement in livelihoods of cocoa farmers who are at risk due to climate change and unsustainable food production.
Speaking on the topic, regulating the cocoa supply chain: recent policy developments from the EU & UK, Ms Julia Christian stated that, the vast majority of Ghana’s cocoa is exported to the European Union (EU) and therefore what the EU does and demand from Ghana is very essential and influential to the sector. She informed participants that, there are three (3) key policies being developed by the EU; 1) regulation to address deforestation in the commodity supply chain, 2) General human rights and environmental due diligence regulations and 3) an import ban on forced labour. She stated that, the UK government is also coming up with similar regulation, therefore, CSOs and farmers must be able to speak to government about what the issues are and to collaborate in finding workable solutions to them.
The CGA project is funded by the UK government through FERN (https://www.fern.org) and Gower Street Foundation and will be implemented in collaboration with the Ghana Civil-Society Cocoa Platform over 3 years.
Read more about the project here (http://www.ecocareghana.org/cocoa-governance-and-advocacy-project/ )