Situated in Ghana's eastern region, ABOCFA stands as the sole organic and Fairtrade certified cocoa cooperative within the nation. Overseeing the cooperative's endeavors is Manager Stephen Ashia, responsible for managing certification procedures, traceability, relationships with producers, and governance. ABOCFA's producers within its network follow a practice of fermenting their cocoa in on-farm heaps and drying it on elevated beds near their residences. This approach is necessitated by the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), a governmental agency overseeing the sector nationwide, which prohibits the trading of wet cocoa.
ABOCFA has made substantial investments in the producer communities, providing training covering diverse topics such as farm efficiency, ecological methods, harvest and post-harvest quality, financial management, and labor rights. The cooperative recently established a training facility and nursery to enhance biodiversity by cultivating cocoa and other tree crops. All ABOCFA producer members have pledged to avoid deforestation or encroachment into forested regions for cacao cultivation.
With 13 producer communities, known as hamlets, within its network, ABOCFA assigns three representatives to each hamlet who collaborate directly with cooperative leadership. Decision-making within the cooperative is democratic, determining the allocation of quality and Fair Trade premiums annually. In 2022, the producers chose to support local educational institutions, water initiatives, healthcare services, and financial programs. ABOCFA's global recognition stems from their remarkable traceable cocoa, celebrated for its classic, rich, and fudgy flavor.
Cocoa bean source: Uncommon Cacao/Ghana ABOCFA