Olam Food Ingredients Ghana Limited (ofi Ghana), a Licensed Buying Company (LBC) in Ghana’s cocoa sector and a leading exporters of cashew in the industry, has donated an amount of GH₵550,000.00 to support the education of children in cocoa-growing communities.
The beneficiary communities include Sefwi-Wiawso in the Western North Region, Akyem Tafo in the Eastern Region, Wala in the Northern Region, and Goaso in the Ahafo Region.
Speaking at a press engagement held at Alisa Hotel in Accra over the weekend, the Country Head of ofi Ghana, Eric Asare-Botwe, said the donation is a reflection ofi Ghana’s unwavering commitment to corporate responsibility, sustainability and its dedication to improving the lives of cocoa farmers.
He stressed the importance of education in transforming lives and empowering future generations, saying the company has taken a proactive stance to improve access to quality education in cocoa-growing areas.
The Country Head of ofi Ghana added that the donation will help to enhance access to quality education, improve infrastructure, and empower the children and the youth to pursue their education.
Reiterating ofi’s commitment to its sustainability goals and initiatives, he said his outfit firmly believes that education is the key to unlocking the potential of individuals and communities. By investing in education, he indicated that ofi Ghana is investing in a brighter future for the cocoa-growing communities.
“Cocoa growing communities play a crucial role in the global supply chain but often face challenges in accessing quality education due to limited resources. The donation is one of the many steps toward our ongoing commitment to improving farmer livelihoods,” Mr Asare-Botwe stated.
The Chief Executive Officer of ofi’s cocoa platform and the Chief Sustainability Officer of ofi, Gerard A. Manley (Gerry), who is set to retire shortly from his position after 40 years, shared his insights and perspectives on the global and local cocoa industry.
He enumerated several notable achievements, including how ofi is collaborating with its partners and customers to work towards eliminating child labor, improving access to education, protecting nature, and helping farmers to earn more.
“In my 26th year at ofi, and after more than 40 years in the cocoa industry, I believe now is the right time to hand over the reins. I am incredibly proud of our track record in the cocoa business and of the sustainability efforts in the sector,” Mr Manley said. He also acknowledged all those that ofi had partnered with over the decades to increase its combined impact.
Mr Manley expressed his gratitude for the honor and reaffirmed his commitment to the cocoa industry’s growth and prosperity. He commended COCOBOD for its relentless efforts in promoting sustainable cocoa farming practices and emphasised the need for continued collaboration among stakeholders to ensure the sector’s long-term success.
For his part, the Chief Executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo, extended his heartfelt appreciation to the esteemed industry expert, Mr. Gerard Manley, for his unwavering commitment, invaluable expertise, and remarkable achievements throughout his illustrious career.
“Gerry has played a pivotal role in revolutionising cocoa production, processing, and marketing strategies, both in Ghana and globally. As a distinguished expert, he has dedicated numerous years to advancing the cocoa sector and elevating Ghana’s position as a key player in the international cocoa market and it’s been a worthwhile journey,” he stated.
The COCOBOD CEO further expressed the hope that Mr Manley’s legacy would continue to inspire future generations of cocoa industry professionals to strive for excellence and contribute to the sustainable development of the sector.