Cocoa is the chief agricultural export of Ghana and Ghana's main cash crop.
Ghana is the second largest cocoa exporter in the world, after Ivory Coast. Ghana's cocoa cultivation, however, is noted within the developing world to be one of the most modelled commodities and valuables.
Cocoa production occurs in the country's forested areas: Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Central Region, Eastern Region, Western Region, and Volta, where rainfall is 1,000–1,500 millimeters per year. The crop year begins in October, when purchases of the main crop begin, with a smaller mid-crop cycle beginning in July.
All cocoa, except that which is smuggled out of the country, is sold at fixed prices to the Cocoa Marketing Board. Although most cocoa production is carried out by peasant farmers on plots of less than three hectares, a small number of farmers appear to dominate the trade. Some studies show that about one-fourth of all cocoa farmers receive just over half of total cocoa income.
Read on for more information on the Cross Atlantic Chocolate Collective's team members in Ghana, Leticia A. Yankey and Nana Aduna II (known in private life as Dr. Yao Mfodwo) of Ohene Cocoa.
Meet The Team
Founder of Bioko Treats, Jeanne started her chocolate making journey in December 2016 after training at Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy. Her company was initially named Treat Confections, but in late 2017, she changed the name to Bioko Treats.
Although she started out as a chocolatier, using couverture to make pralines, etc., she got into making bean to bar chocolates three years ago when a medical facility asked if she could make them sugar free chocolates for their diabetic patients. After taking an online class with Ecole Chocolat, she started making small batch dark chocolate.
Bioko treats currently produces approximately two tonnes of dark and milk chocolate per year. Having seen growth in both the bean to bar and confectionery sides of the business, Bioko Treats have begun to attract customers outside of Ghana.
Jeanne has really enjoyed helping one cocoa farmer with making her first batch of 70% chocolate and would like to do more of that. While her background is originally in marketing, she's had some experience in organizational mentoring and would like to bring this experience to the Cross Atlantic Collective.
Leticia A. Yankey
Leticia Ama-Kowoa Yankey (@leticiayankey), is an experienced cocoa farmer and owner of a 14-acre cocoa farm in Ghana. A strong advocate of Ghana’s Youth in Cocoa Initiative and aims to become the National Best Cocoa Farmer in the next five years.
She got interested in cocoa farming when she settled with peasant cocoa farmers in the Upper Denkyira district, where she used to do education on HIV/ AIDS and Tuberculosis. She started her own cocoa farm in 2010 and currently owns a 14-acre cocoa farm with an annual yield of 3.5 tonnes. She is also the founder of Cocoa Mmaa (@cocoammaa), a cooperative society that seeks to empower female cocoa farmers.
Leticia holds a Bachelor of Education and Commonwealth Executive Master in Public Administration from the University of Cape Coast and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology respectively. We are so thrilled to have Leticia's powerful, dynamic and visionary energy as a partner on The Cross Atlantic Chocolate Collective!
Nana Aduna II
CEO, Ohene Cocoa
Nana Aduna II (known in private life as Dr. Yao Mfodwo) is the current Akyeamehene of the Akuapem Traditional Area; a landowner, and Head of the Agona Clan of Akropong and the Adwumako Family.
He is a consultant psychiatrist trained in the winelands of Stellenbosch, South Africa, with experience as a product physician in the pharmaceutical industry. These experiences in addition to a lineage of cultivating cocoa since the 1920s influenced his passion for cocoa farming / production.