The CAA collaborates with two dedicated Licensed Buying Companies (LBC) that purchase all cocoa beans grown by our members: Royal Commodities Limited (ROCO) and Adwumapa Buyers Limited (ABL). They are fully trained on all certification criteria and undergo an annual Chain of Custody audit for compliance purposes. We developed a system that substitutes traditional middlemen, called Purchasing Clerks (PCs), with Collectors. These Collectors are elected members of the CAA who purchase cocoa beans on behalf of a group of farmers.
Transparency and fairness
The CAA has signed an agreement with the LBCs that stipulates the responsibilities of both organisations and ensures long-term collaboration. Part of the agreement is dedicated to transparency, stipulating that all farmers must be given receipts and Goods Received Notes as evidence of sales and payments. All purchasing data is entered in a mobile app and sent digitally to the head office.
Our field staff regularly inspects the manual scales in community sheds and the electronic scales in the district warehouses by using testing stones. An official independent calibration is also organised annually to prevent farmers from being cheated due to scales tampering, which is unfortunately very common in Ghana.
All certified members who sold cocoa beans to the Licensed Buying Company in their district are entitled to a part of the total premium. Every year, the CAA publishes a Premium Development Plan at the start of the season, which has to be approved by the elected Council. The plan clearly sets out which percentage of profits will go directly to the farmers in cash and which percentage will be made available to farmers for investments, school fees, or other expenses. The rest of the premiums are used for the storage of cocoa beans at the port, running our programmes on certification, traceability, training and sustainability, and community development. From 2010 to August 2020, the CAA received GHc65,547,608.00 – 50% of which was dispersed directly to the members. During the Annual General Meeting, the premium amount and share rates are discussed and decided on by all members, and paid out immediately afterwards.