Coffee Federation of Ghana Seeks Support to Increase Exports to Europe

Gradually, the menace of galamesey is beginning to move towards the already panicky commodity.

Every year, 1st of October, coffee lovers are joined by the coffee enthusiasts across the world to celebrate International Coffee Day. This year, the theme of the day is “committed to coffee farmers’ prosperity to reduce the coffee industry’s impact on the environment and mitigate climate change.”

Coffee is one of the most important income earners in many countries. It employs over 1.2 million people in Central American accounting for a substantial part of its gross domestic product (GDP). Ghana’s raw common coffee bean has performed very abysmal on the world market over the years.

According to the available records in 2021, Ghana was ranked 132th with the share in export of ≈ 0.0%%. In 2021, Ghana was ranked 128th with the share in import of ≈ 0.0%%. This leaves much to be desired. Leveraging on Partnership (SDG 17) Ghana can change this trend positively.

The Coffee Federation of Ghana, a private led organization that consists of representations from all actors in the Ghanaian Coffee Value Chain namely; Farmers, Producers, Processors including Roasters and Hullers, Retailers, Exporters, and Consulting Companies is committed to partnering government to change Ghana’s fortunes through improving coffee’s contribution to the nation’s GDP.

The Federation, leveraging on the Government’s Prioritized National Tree Crop Development Authority’s Programme dubbed Planting for Exports and Rural Development (PERD) that seeks to revamp the Ghanaian tree crop sector has rallied the support of over 23,000 coffee farmers, 29 indigenous roasters and processors and 16 exporters in four ecological zones of the country where coffee is grown under the abled leadership of our zonal coordinators.

The aim of the Federation is to establish in Ghana, a highly competitive and globally recognized coffee industry which promotes Economic Development and Prosperity for all actors in the value chain.

International Coffee Day presents an opportunity for coffee lovers to share their love of the beverage and support the thousands of coffee farmers whose livelihoods depend on the aromatic crop.

With the creation of an enabled environment for the growth of the sector in Ghana through the unique partnership between Coffee Federation of Ghana, ACP, EU, UNIDO, ITC, COCOBOD and the government policies; aimed at increasing domestic consumption of coffee and increased interest among young people into coffee production as a whole, CFG in partnership with Chamber of Agribusiness and Commodity Services seeks partnership, leveraging on SDG 17 to organize a networking opportunity through building market synergies as we celebrate the Day.

COCOBOD of Ghana has always indicated that the Ghanaian coffee sector presents enormous opportunities for the youth and farmers in general as the new policy direction of government provides impetus to transform the sector immensely.

At the 2020 Inter-African Coffee Organization (IACO) conference held virtually in Accra, President Nana Akufo-Addo indicated that Ghana has a set target of realizing $2 billion by 2030, this according to our calculation means farming up to 220,000 hectares of coffee in order to harvest about 900,000 tones. This is yet to be realized and requires a lot of collaborative efforts.

Government of Ghana through its sector ministry and agencies have introduced a Coffee Development Programme to support the growth of the industry. However without a deliberate effort at actively involving the private sector players such as the Coffee Federation of Ghana and other stakeholders in a complementary manner and not a competitive approach this may be just a wishful thought and nothing else. Aside distribution of free seedlings to coffee farmers to which CFG are very grateful to government, farmers are mostly left on their own without the needed support. Farmers don’t get the needed extension support for pruning, inputs and even spraying of the farms.

The Coffee Federation of Ghana on this day, wishes to reiterate its position to work directly and closely with COCOBOD to revamp the coffee sector since coffee was not included in the Tree Crop Authority.

As we celebrate today, it’s important that we address some of the challenges of coffee farmers in Ghana. Gradually, the menace of galamesey is beginning to move towards the already panicky commodity. Some of our farmers have reported some abuses and loss of farm lands to the galamsey menace. This doesn’t conform with the theme of this year’s celebration. Rather it is detrimental to the prosperity of the already impoverished farmers. We add our voice to the clarion call on the government to clamp down on these perpetrators irrespective of their status in the society. Their actions beyond being self-conceitedness is gradually giving Ghana a bad reputation globally.

On 17 November 2021, the European Commission tabled a legislative proposal aimed at curbing deforestation and forest degradation driven by the expansion of agricultural land used to produce specific commodities, namely cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soya and wood. Following up on a 2020 European Parliament resolution, which called for regulatory action to tackle EU-driven global deforestation, the proposal would impose due diligence obligations on operators placing these commodities and some derived products on the EU market, or exporting them from the EU. Member States would be responsible for enforcement, and for setting penalties in case of non-compliance.

The European Parliament has on the 13 of September finally approved a bill blocking the import of “dirty commodities” by members of the European Union, in an effort to combat global deforestation.
Under the new bill, importing companies will be required to verify whether the products they sell within the EU market are produced in deforested areas, including the Amazon Rainforest.
The EU initially targeted six commodities whose production has long been associated with tropical deforestation: soy, beef, palm oil, timber, cocoa, and coffee. European parliamentarians, however, expanded the scope to include pork, lamb and mutton, as well as poultry, corn, rubber, charcoal, and printed paper. Under the bill, any of these commodities found to be linked to lands deforested after Dec. 31, 2019, will be banned from import into the EU. (The initial cutoff date was Dec. 31, 2020.)

According to reports from the EU Parliament, the bill against the “importation of deforestation,” as it has been described, needs approval from the Council of the EU and the national parliaments of the 27 nations in the bloc. Nevertheless, its passage through the European Parliament — with 453 votes in favor, 57 against, and 123 abstentions — is already considered a historic step in combating the destruction of forests.
The bill doesn’t explicitly name any country as a target of the restrictions.

Promoting local consumption of coffee produce is our call to mitigate this looming danger. It can boost our economy and contribute immensely towards our recovery efforts.

The industrialization drive by the government can be leveraged by the coffee sector. Adding value to the bean is far simpler and affordable than cocoa. With just a little support in the coffee sector, Ghana can process coffee domestically for local consumption to meet the already existing over 30% local consumption deficit. This to the Coffee Federation can be the best bet to mitigate the impending EU legislation.
Once again, Happy Coffee Day to all.

Chief Nat Ebo Nsarko, PhD
President, Coffee Federation of Ghana (CFG)

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