From a Ghanaian kitchen to the global chocolate market
ITC is supporting small cocoa processors and chocolate brands in Ghana in reaching new markets and growing their operations
In Ghana, a new wave of entrepreneurs is reclaiming its world-famous cocoa, historically produced as a commodity export for little profit. They are taking ownership of their product from bean to bar, promoting local consumption and producing fine artisan chocolate made at origin.
Ghana is the second-largest producer of cocoa in the world after Côte d'Ivoire, with a market share of about 20 percent. Cocoa contributes significantly to the country's total foreign exchange earnings. However, most of its value is acquired at processing level in richer, traditional chocolate consumer countries.
Chocolate made in Ghana from bean to bar remains a rare sighting on the shelves, but this is changing.
Monica Nana Ama Senanu's chocolate journey started in 2013. She would bake chocolate cakes and gift them to family and friends. Eventually, she registered for a three-month online course on recipe development - a revelation.
One of her customers introduced her to a German chocolate manufacturer who encouraged her to set up a business and gave her some professional equipment. What started off as a hobby quickly turned into a business from there.
In July 2016, Chocoluv officially went commercial and has been building a loyal base of customers since. They also sell at Accra's international airport, which is a great platform for international visibility.
From bean to bar
Chocoluv is one of the agribusiness enterprises ITC is supporting under the Netherlands Trust Fund V project in Ghana.
ITC’s sustainable agribusiness initiative, Alliances for Action, started helping them build production capacity and connecting them to market players right around the time that COVID-19 hit when business was getting tough. “The right people at the right time is a thread that runs through our journey,” said Monica.
Chocoluv was selected, along with other chocolate companies, to attend two major international trade fairs: The Speciality Food Festival in Dubai and Salon du Chocolat in Paris. Both events were an opportunity for Monica to get inspired by new market trends and to share her brand with an international crowd of chocolate lovers.
"I was pleasantly delighted when one of Dubai's well-known chefs endorsed our products. The manufacturer and supplier of chocolates for the United Arab Emirates was equally delighted with the quality of our chocolates, and we exchanged recipe tips,” Monica said.
A healthy chocolate spread caught her eye in Dubai, and a Chocoluv recipe for a similar product is currently in the works for 2023, under the NTF V project.
About the project
The Netherlands Trust Fund V (NTF V) (July 2021 – June 2025) is based on a partnership between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands and the International Trade Centre. The programme supports MSMEs in the digital technologies and agribusiness sectors. Its ambition is two-fold: to contribute to an inclusive and sustainable transformation of food systems, partially through digital solutions, and drive the internationalization of tech start-ups and export of IT&BPO companies in selected Sub-Saharan African countries.
Through the Alliances for Action approach, it promotes inclusive and sustainable agricultural value chains that value all stakeholders from farm to shelf. Alliances for Action is an ITC initiative that seeks to transform food systems through producer partnerships that cultivate ethical, climate- smart, sustainable agricultural value chains.