Management of Barry Callebaut and Nyonkopa Cocoa Buying Limited, major chocolate producers, have commended the government’s efforts in the fight against illegal mining and its devastating effect on farmlands, forest reserves, and water bodies.
According to the cocoa buyers, the devastating effects of illegal mining in cocoa-growing communities in the country are not only affecting their supply, but also adversely affecting cocoa production and the livelihoods of cocoa farmers in the country.
The Managing Director of Barry Callebaut, Mamadou Ly, in an interview with Citi News on the current state of cocoa buying in Ghana on the sidelines of a donation of computers to Densuano Basic School in the New Juaben South Municipality, said they are fully behind the government in the fight against illegal mining.
“Illegal mining is definitely affecting the cocoa sector, and by extension adversely affecting our cocoa buying and chocolate production. We are fully with the government, we support all government initiatives because illegal mining is negatively impacting cocoa industries, it is impacting cocoa production, it is impacting our farmers also. So we in Barry Callebaut support all the initiatives government is taking to stop this ‘galamasey’, and if we all join hands we can fight it and make the cocoa sector strong “.
Mamadou Ly, who also spoke about the impact of Covid-19 on their operations, indicated that they will still contribute their quota to the cocoa sector despite the challenges.
“In the chocolate sector, COVID-19 is a challenge for us, because, in the world, cocoa production has dropped, so one of the challenges for us is to maintain our operation and to make sure that we continue to buy cocoa from the farmers knowing that we have lower sales in the world due to COVID, but despite that, we are helping communities”.