Connecting cocoa growers for National Farmers’ Day
The daily reality of being a smallholder farmer in West Africa means that most will rarely set an adult foot outside of their village. So it was a unique experience for 50 Ghanaian cocoa farmers when they got to step away from their farms for a day and into the city to witness the process of their cacao beans being transformed into smooth, dark liquor.
The special occasion was hosted by Olam last month at the state-of-the art cocoa processing facility in Kumasi, to celebrate National Farmers Day in Ghana. It came a few weeks after Olam marked the same occasion in Zambia with an agricultural fair for coffee farmers which turned out to be one of their most lucrative days of the year.
For Olam, the visit to the cocoa factory was about allowing the farmers to learn what happens to the products they grow; to feel part of a bigger purpose. So often smallholder farmers can feel cut off from the wider farming community: working in isolation, and missing out the opportunity to chat to others in their industry.
After their tour of the fully automated factory, the farmers left impressed and eager to share what they had learnt that day with their fellow cocoa farmers back home.