An official ceremony hosted by the Ghana Cocoa Board honoured Simon Marfo, a Ghanaian cocoa farmer who won the prestigious Cocoa of Excellence International Cocoa Award at the recent Salon du Chocolat in Paris, France.
Marfo is a member of the Cocoa Abrabopa Association (CAA) and benefited from fine flavour training supported by the World Cocoa Foundation’s African Cocoa Initiative. Marfo competed against 166 other entries from 40 countries.
A jury of international fine flavour experts chose only 18 cocoa samples, among them Marfo’s, for the award. His sample was the only winner from Ghana and was also recognized as one of the four best cocoa samples from the Africa and the Indian Ocean region.
Two other farmers from Ghana, John Kofi Assiamah and Noah Obeng, also received their certificate of participation in the Cocoa of Excellence program during the presentation ceremony.
Today’s ceremony was presided by Ghana Cocoa Board CEO Joseph Boahen Aidoo, who announced a cash prize of five thousand Ghana cedis for each of the three farmers for making Ghana proud by showcasing the quality of the country’s cocoa Accepting the prize on behalf of the farmers, Assiamah expressed appreciation to COCOBOD for the honour and thanked all partners whose support made the awards possible.
Commenting on the award, CAA Executive Secretary Eliseus Opoku-Boamah said, “We congratulate Mr. Marfo on this achievement and wish him all the best in improving and maintaining the traditional flavour attributes of Ghana cocoa. With his strong combination of knowledge, professional mind-set, and dedication, we will not be surprised to see him win more awards”.
Marfo received training at a flavour laboratory established at the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) and at CAA’s head office. These laboratories conduct sensory analysis of cocoa samples, prepare cocoa liquor and chocolates, and train farmers on appropriate post-harvest techniques to maintain and improve the flavour of cocoa.
The training is conducted by CAA technical trainers and CRIG extension agents and based on a feedback loop, whereby farmers taste chocolate made from their own beans. Innovative flavour-enhancing practices promoted through the training include breaking of cocoa pods by the third day after harvesting; removal of bean placenta; fermentation heap regular turning; removal of nearby odours; and usage of palm fronds for beans drying instead of polythene.
About World Cocoa Foundation (WCF)
The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) is an international membership organization that promotes sustainability in the cocoa sector. WCF provides cocoa farmers with the support they need to grow more quality cocoa and socially and economically strengthen their communities.
WCF’s members include cocoa and chocolate manufacturers, processors, supply chain managers, and other companies worldwide, representing more than 80 percent of the global cocoa market. WCF’s programs benefit farmers and their communities in cocoa-growing regions of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Americas. For more information, visit www.worldcocoa.org or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
WCF’s African Cocoa Initiative is a public-private partnership bringing together WCF, chocolate and cocoa industry members and the U.S. Agency for International Development through its Global Development Alliance, with the governments of Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria.
WCF member companies supporting ACI at the time of the flavor lab’s inception were ADM Cocoa; Barry Callebaut; Blommer Chocolate Company; Cargill; Continaf BV; Ferrero; Guittard Chocolate Company; The Hershey Company; Lindt & Sprüngli; Mars, Incorporated; Mondelēz International; Nestlé; Noble Resources; and Olam International Ltd. TCHO served as a technical partner to WCF for the flavor lab portion of ACI. Tree Global Inc., more recently joined the project.