De eerste sporen van cacaobomen op de kuststrook van de Gouden Kust (huidig Ghana) dateren uit 1815, met de komst van de Nederlandse missionarissen. De cacaoteelt heeft zich evenwel pas echt ontwikkeld door toedoen van Tetteh Quarshie, de eerste Ghanese cacaoteler. Hij was werkzaam als smid in Fernado Poo, het huidige eiland Bioko (Equatoriaal-Guinea), en nam in 1879 cacaobonen met zich mee die hij met enig succes in zijn tuin plantte. Gaandeweg kochten andere boeren bonen van hem en ontwikkelde de cacaoteelt zich, daarbij profiterend van een gunstig klimaat en een geschikte grond. Ghana is in 1891 begonnen met exporteren en was tussen 1910 en 1980 de voornaamste exporteur. Terzelfder tijd besloot de regering vanaf 1947 een regeringsagentschap op te richten dat zich ging bezighouden met de ontwikkeling van de cacaoteelt: de Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD). Al spoedig werden de kwaliteit en de homogeniteit de belangrijkste lokale preoccupaties en sinds die tijd staat de Ghanese cacao bekend om zijn betere kwaliteit.
The history of cocoa in Ghana
The fist missionaries from the Basle Mission were sent to the then Gold Coast, today’s
Ghana, in the year 1828. According to the story, these missionaries, who were working together
with Tetteh Quarshie, brought cocoa into the country. Around 1870, the Ghanaian
Tetteh Quarshie worked for a few years on an island in the Gulf of Guinea. The island, on
which cocoa was already grown, was a Spanish colony. Despite the strict prohibition, Tetteh
Quarshie succeeded in smuggling a few cocoa beans into his homeland on his return to
Ghana and successfully raised cocoa plants from them. The Spanish-Portuguese cocoa monopoly
was thereby broken, and the valuable beans found their way to Africa.
The importance of cocoa in Ghana today
Ghana is the second largest export country for cocoa in the world. For the last 60 years, all
the cocoa grown in Ghana had to be sold to the “Ghana Cocoa Board”. This government organisation
controlled and marketed all the cocoa, either for export or for domestic use (local
processors). The raw material cocoa is one of the main sources of foreign exchange for Ghana
and is therefore of enormous importance.
The Yayra Glover Company and its vision
According to the vision of the Ghanaian Yayra Glover, cocoa production in Ghana should be
realigned in the future. His company wants to cultivate and market the cocoa from the entireSuhum-Kraboa-Coaltar district in line with both, organic and Fairtrade guidelines. And all of
this with the active support of Swiss agronomists.
In doing this, Yayra Glover trains and informs the farmers about local, regional, national and
even international topics. Important issues such as child labour, organic food, natural plant
protection and sustainable agriculture are thereby central. However, in addition, the people
should also be given the means and the opportunities to themselves bring about changes in
their own lives.
Through tireless work, Yayra Glover succeeded in convincing the “Ghana Cocoa Board”
about his project. He is thereby the first person who is able to sell his cocoa directly to his
customers, of course with the support and approval of the Cocoa Board.
Cocoa from the Suhum-Kraboa-Coaltar district, Ghana
The Suhum-Kraboa-Coaltar district, from which Felchlin now obtains its Ghanaian cocoa,
lies on the southern edge of a large forest area, 60 km north-west of the capital city Accra.
Coastal savannah extends towards the south, while the Aburi chain of hills forms a natural
border to the east, with the protected Attewa forest to the north-west. The entire district is
relatively hilly, with flat valleys intersected by rivers and streams.