Ghana Export Promotion Authority, the national trade promotion organisation in charge of Export Development and Promotion is a leading a team of Ghanaian chocolatiers to participate in this year’s Salon du Chocolat with the prime objective of promoting and aggressively marketing around the world, semi-processed and tertiary cocoa products.
The Fair is the global premier chocolate event that brings together chocolatiers and actors along the cocoa value chain under one big roof to showcase chocolate and other cocoa derivatives in vogue.
The five-day annual event, which opened on October 28, 2021, is being held at Porte De Versailles-Paris France. It is the 26th edition after a year’s hiatus due to COVID-19.
With tremendous support from Ghana’s Mission in France, GEPA for the first time took up the mantle to lead and mobilize products and garner support from Ghanaian chocolatiers and other stakeholders to ensure that a spectacular event is pulled off. And truly, GEPA’s stand, with assorted and delectable chocolate products, has been the toast of visitors.
Tastings, workshops, live demonstrations, music and dance infused with cultural symbols, are the many reasons visitors troop the fairgrounds where a sensuous and inviting aroma of cocoa fills the air and entices chocolate lovers across France and the entire world.
Ghana’s participation this year is unique and appetizing because the emphasis was more on the tertiary segment of the value chain. As a corollary, GEPA brought on board members of the Cocoa Value Addition Artisans Association of Ghana, COVAAAGH to join the National TPO to promote Ghana’s value proposition in chocolate and other cocoa derivatives.
More importantly, GEPA desires to ride on the burgeoning artisanal sector in Ghana and the premium value attached to Ghana’s cocoa, to create the necessary links and synergies between chocolatiers in France and their Ghanaian counterparts.
Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire produce close to 70% of the total global output of cocoa beans yet manage a paltry slice of the $120bn chocolate industry.
Poised to reverse the trend, the Deputy CEO of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Mr. Samuel Dentu, observed, “as part of our national export development strategy, we are focusing on developing and promoting the tertiary industry of cocoa”.
Mr. Dentu said GEPA wants to lead the revolution to change the narrative by leveraging the secondary industry to increase the export of processed beans.
“It is time to take it a further step forward to look at what can be done next with cocoa as far as the tertiary industry of cocoa is concerned,” he stressed.
He highlighted the GEPA export strategy, which recognizes the processed cocoa sector as a major plank in boosting export and as a source of foreign exchange. Ghana’s National Export Development Strategy was launched in the last quarter of 2020 with a revenue target of US$25.3 billion by 2029.
The cocoa sector, a major earner for Ghana, holds untapped potential to unlock the fortunes to propel Ghana’s revenue targets. It holds the solution to unemployment challenges in Ghana if given the needed attention.
Mr. Dentu was of the view that “Ghana as a major player in cocoa value chain cannot be missing at an event such as the Salon du Chocolat’.
“Ghana produced premium cocoa, and there is no chocolate in the world without a bit of Ghanaian cocoa,” he underscored.
GEPA unveiled the African Cocoa & Chocolate Expo (ACCE) in 2019. He was hopeful that it could become bigger to reflect Ghana’s status as a major cocoa producer.
He expressed satisfaction with the positive reviews of Ghana products at The Salon du Chocolat, an augury and a case for more local production.
Consequently, he called for collaboration between all stakeholders to make that dream a reality.
The Salon du Chocolat, loosely translated as Paris Chocolate Show, is a yearly trade fair for the international chocolate industry.
It began in 1994 with the support of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It takes place every year in October/November in Paris, France.
Chocolatiers, pastry chefs, confectioners, professionals from the chocolate industry, producing countries, designers and cocoa experts get together to show the public all the riches of the famous bean.
Over 700 exhibitors are in attendance for the duration of the 2021 fair.
For visitors, it is a chance to discover the latest innovations and taste creations by pastry chefs as well as the best cocoa beans from all over the world.
Children’s pastry-making workshops take place every day, and there are tasting sessions and cookery demonstrations hosted by top chefs.
In the bookshop area, the authors of recipe books can meet the public for signings.
The highlights are still the fashion parade with dresses made of chocolate and the chocolate awards given to the best chocolatiers of the year.
The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) is the national export trade support institution of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) responsible for facilitating, developing, and promoting Ghanaian exports.
Act 396 established it in 1969 as an agency of the Ministry of Trade and Industry to develop and promote Ghanaian exports.
The focus of GEPA has primarily been to diversify Ghana’s export base from the traditional gold and other unprocessed minerals, cocoa beans, timber logs and lumber.
Currently, there are over 383 different non-traditional export products categorized as Agricultural, Processed/Semi Processed and Handicrafts. Export trade and services is a new and recent addition to the non-traditional export portfolio.
GEPA’s clientele includes over 3000 registered private sector exporting companies organized into Export Product Associations.
GEPA relate to these clients both on an individual corporate basis and as groups/associations and also acts as an interface between these exporters and other public organisations.