Ghana proudly clings to the title of the world’s second largest producer of cocoa, the main cash crop used in the production of chocolates.
The country often comes after Ivory Coast which in 2017 was leading cocoa production with 1.8 million tonnes.
One would have thought that being a major exporter of cocoa beans would translate into the status of the top exporter of processed cocoa products like chocolate but it’s quite the opposite as 80 percent of the cocoa produced in Ghana is exported in its raw state.
Meaning, Ghana loses a great deal from the cocoa value chain worth $100 billion as a chunk of the revenue rests in the end of the value chain: that is, chocolate production.
Over the past few years, individuals are stepping up and building businesses around chocolate courting global attention and complementing the government’s value addition strategy.
These chocolate entrepreneurs are producing artisanal chocolates targeted at both the domestic and international market, pitching Ghana at the high end of the value chain.
Below are Top five chocolate entrepreneurs you should watch out for:
Inspired by a magazine story on chocolatiers and buoyed by a 5-day chocolate making class organised by the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC), Akua Obenewaa Donkor took a plunge into entrepreneurship with her hand-made chocolate brand- Decocraft. With a strategy built around customer’s preference, she mainly focuses on custom made chocolate products hardly available on the market. Her decision on bespoke chocolates hinges on consumers’ differing tastes and preferences. Some of her products include, chocolates in alphabets, chocolate shoes, chocolate footballs, and chocolate bouquet among others. Her charity fund, “I love to read” is designed to give back to cocoa farmers and inculcate reading habits in children in cocoa growing communities.
‘Raising the chocolate bar’ as displayed on their website perfectly embodies their stance in Ghana’s chocolate industry. Launched by two Ghanaian sisters, Priscilla and Kimberly Addison, 57 chocolates produce artisanal, made-in Ghana chocolates. The idea was birthed in 2014 but active business started in 2016 with a clear mission to revolutionize Ghana’s chocolate market by producing Adinkra symbols inspired chocolates with Ghana’s culture undertones. The sisters have gone global with their products having been featured on the BBC and NBC and has attracted funding from Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme for Manufacturing.
With 10 years working experience with the UN, Selassie Atadik moved to Ghana to explore Africa’s food industry with an avid interest in Ghana’s chocolate scene. Today, the Midunu chocolate brand is a household name and a force to reckon with in Ghana’s burgeoning chocolate market. Midunu holds chocolate tasting events to introduce the general public to chocolatiers, chocolate making and chocolate tasting sessions. The company has been featured in the Financial Times. In 2017, Selassie Atadika, was the only African Chef named as one of the 50 most innovative chefs in the world by the Culinary Institute of America and the EAT Foundation.
The Sweet Art Company
Ruth Amoah, Managing Director of The Sweet Art Company sources beans from her family’s cocoa farm (Brother-in-law’s farm in the central region of Ghana) to produce chocolates. Her carefully handpicked, roasting and grinding process ends in quality products which has gained traction from top duty free shops both locally and internationally. She segued from her full-time job into the chocolate business and has never looked back. In 2016, she represented Ghana at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris, the world’s largest chocolate exhibition.
The latest addition to the market is Omama chocolate launched in 2018 by a clothing company, Nayak Afrik with the primary aim of adding value to cocoa before exporting to spur economic growth. Made from Ghana’s rich cocoa beans, Omama is poised to stay at the high end in both the domestic and international market.
One thing obviously runs through all these businesses- value addition to win enough slice of the global $100 billion industry and with the needed push from the government and private investors, their efforts could bear fruits
By Pamela Ofori- Boateng,Business World Ghana © 2019