Solidaridad, under its RECLAIM Sustainability programme, is building the capacity of cocoa cooperatives to participate at all levels of decision-making in the cocoa value chain.
Often, efforts toward sustainable cocoa production are derailed by policies that do not reflect the exigent needs of smallholder farmers and consequently do not receive support from the very stakeholders that these policies are designed to serve.
The lack of smallholder farmer representation at the highest levels of decision-making has been identified as a key catalyst for the development of incoherent policies. In this regard, Solidaridad has been organizing dialogues to provide a platform for the cooperatives to discuss ideas, build institutional capacities, harness the benefits of interdependence, and develop a more coordinated and collaborative approach towards advocacy.
“Many cocoa cooperatives remain divided on key issues that affect sustainable cocoa production, and it is crucial that they work together to present a united front,” said Seth Kankam Nuamah, Programme Manager at Solidaridad.
A recently held dialogue session in Kumasi brought together 32 participants, including regional directors of cooperatives and cooperative union volunteers from the Ashanti, Eastern, Central, Western North, Bono, Bono East, Western and Ahafo regions.
Mr Nuamah said the dialogues were part of Solidaridad’s strategy to create an enabling policy environment for inclusive decision-making within the supply chains.
Mr Kwabena Apraku Yeboah, the Acting Registrar of Co-operative Societies at the Department of Cooperatives, expressed his appreciation for the support received from Solidaridad under the RECLAIM Sustainability! programme.
‘As a department, we are pleased that Solidaridad West Africa is building our capacity and empowering us to have a unified voice to advocate on issues affecting the cocoa supply chain. The Department of Cooperatives registers its full cooperation with Solidaridad to strengthen cocoa cooperatives in Ghana,” he said.
Fostering an enabling policy environment
Under the RECLAIM Sustainability! programme, Solidaridad seeks to ensure that the interests, voices and rights of farmers, workers, and citizens are represented and heard in public and private policy decisions for decent working conditions, sustainable use of natural resources and fair distribution of values and benefits throughout the chain.
Solidaridad through the cooperative dialogues has empowered the cooperatives to reach a consensus to develop a strong governance structure that will enable them to speak up and be represented at all tiers of decision-making that affect their livelihood.
Rosemary Addico, Programme Manager at Solidaridad said the organization will continue to ensure seamless communication and synergy between supply chain actors and bring marginalized populations to the forefront of decision-making so that policies truly reflect the aspirations of everyone.
She indicated that a successful cooperative business has the potential to provide employment and investment opportunities and ensure collaborative growth and fair distribution of wealth.
Solidaridad will continue to mobilize, activate, and engage cooperatives to raise their voice and make informed decisions.
In West Africa, the RECLAIM Sustainability! programme is implemented in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Sierra Leone by Solidaridad and TrustAfrica with funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
Solidaridad is an international civil society organization with over fifty years of experience in developing solutions to make underprivileged communities more resilient. We currently work in over 40 countries, on five continents, through eight independently supervised regional offices.
Our vision is an economy that works for all: a world in which all we produce, and all we consume can sustain us while respecting the planet, each other, and the next generations.
Our mission is to enable farmers and workers to earn a decent income, shape their own future, and produce in balance with nature by working throughout the supply chain to make sustainability the norm.
For more information, contact Abdul Fatah Maigah Mahama, Communications Manager for Ghana via Email: email@example.com or Mobile: 0207995604.