Upfield, the global leader in plant-based nutrition has announced the launch of the first phase of its Shea Sustainability Initiative in West Africa, which will restore about 150 hectares of savannah parkland in the North East Region of Ghana.
The initiative is expected to grow 6,000 shea and other indigenous trees by 2023, an official statement issued to the Ghana News Agency, in Accra said Wednesday.
Upfield, the leading producer of plant-based margarines, spreads and cheeses, with more than 100 brands, announced the initiative as a strategic partnership with Ghanaian landscape restoration firm, Eco Restore.
The company produces well-known brands such as Blue Band, Flora, Rama and Violife, Proactiv, Becel, I Can:t Believe It’s Not Butter, Country Crock and Violife®.
Upfield’s shea sustainability initiative is in line with the company’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy and its Sustainable Sourcing Policy, said the statement.
The project will seek to create sustainable impact in the company’s shea supply chain under three key pillars, including ‘improving livelihoods’, ‘health and safety’ and ‘parkland restoration’.
“Upfield will work with Eco Restore, to implement sustainability principles in its West African shea sourcing supply chain by implementing environmental protection and regeneration measures,” it said.
“A significant piece of Upfield’s ESG strategy is to enhance the livelihoods of small holders and plant-based entrepreneurs while preserving nature to ensure a better planet,” it quoted Upfield’s Global Director of Sustainability & ESG, Sally Smith, when speaking on the project.
“This project will help communities maintain and improve their shea parklands, thereby supporting long term food security, sustainable food systems and economic development.”
Managing Director, Upfield West Africa; Moses Bamidele Amao, said: “Our approach with this initiative is to work collaboratively with our indigenous communities; not only to plant the trees but to promote an appreciation for and a culture of preserving the shea parklands until it becomes the norm.
“This in turn creates a ripple effect of sustainable practices in the communities where we source our food ingredients.”
For his part, Executive Director Eco Restore, Peter Lovett noted: We are very happy to be partnering with Upfield on this very important sustainability project.
“As an organization that values and is committed to parkland restoration in West Africa, we see this partnership as a win for the community, the long-term resilience of the shea ecosystem in Ghana and the global customers of Upfield.”
Earlier in the year, Upfield became a member of the Global Shea Alliance and a registered sustainability partner.
This means in addition to the company’s Responsible Sourcing Policy and Human Rights Statement, Upfield’s position on shea will be directed by the sustainability guidelines and implementation criteria laid out by the Global Shea Alliance.
The company’s newly launched project will feed into the alliance’s Action for Shea Parklands’ initiative and Shea More Love’ campaign, which are both aimed at promoting the sustainable development of the global shea industry.
“The next phase of Upfield’s Shea Sustainability project aims to create an enabling environment for the economic empowerment of hardworking Ghanaian women shea collectors and processors through the creation of viable cooperatives, business and financial literacy training, market transparency and good business practices,” the statement said.
With its headquarters in Amsterdam, the company’s products are in more than 95 countries and have 15 manufacturing sites throughout the world.
The company employs more than 4200 associates.
Eco Restore is a Ghanaian landscape restoration firm that aims to restore millions of hectares of savannah parkland across West Africa and owns nurseries in Tamale (capacity 50.000 seedlings, 50% shea), Nasia and Nakpanduri, whilst partnering with additional local nurseries in north Ghana.
Earnings from yam exports could hit $78m using Geographical Indications
Revenue generation and sources of development funding are the most topical issues currently dominating public discourses in the country.
Various development stakeholders are, therefore, required to assist policymakers in search of innovative solutions to the nation’s economic and financial heartaches.
It is against this background that those working in the Industrial Property Right (IPR) protection space wish to uncover some low-hanging revenue fruits that the nation could innovatively harvest.
Geographical Indications (GIs) are signs used on products from a particular geographical origin with specific qualities or a reputation that are essentially attributed to the place of origin.
This form of intellectual property protects the uniqueness, reputation and other characteristics that easily differentiate a product from other similar ones on the market.
The GIs largely protect food and non-food products, especially of rural origin. The GIs increase revenues for local producers and satisfy the needs of conscious and demanding customers.
The system facilitates the originality of producers and improves the quality of production using various branding tools in the form of origin labelling and Collective Trademarks.
Over 3,400 GI products have been registered within the EU, 320 in India and about 2,533 in China. Africa largely has potential products for instance, in Cameroun, Ethiopia, Morocco, Mozambique and Guinea, with few registered as GI products.
A worldwide study in 2018 on the economic impact of GIs showed that on the average, prices doubled (in some cases tripled) for products compared with similar products that are not GI registered.
French GI cheeses are sold at an average of two euros per kilo more than French non-GI cheeses. French “Poulet de Bresse” (a type of chicken) has a market price four times higher than regular French chicken.
Producers of Italian “Tuscano” olive oil have managed to increase prices for their olive oil by 20 per cent since it was registered as a GI in 1998.
In other instances, the case of a traditionally not-export-oriented country like Spain is striking: in 1991 (five years after accession to the EU), exports of GI products amounted to 443 million euros and in 1999 more than 1.0 billion euros.
Unique case of pona
The yam crop (Dioscorea spp.) is an important crop generating income for over 60 million people.
Nigeria and Ghana are the leading producers in the world. Global yam production increased from 15.3 million tonnes in 1971 to 74.8 million tonnes in 2020.
Ghana produces about eight million tonnes of yam annually. The country’s yam production has increased significantly over the period. In 2018 and 2019, production was about 7,858,209 and 8,288,198 metric tonnes compared with previous years.
Yams from Ghana are mainly exported to the United Kingdom, South Africa, Italy and the United States.
The main varieties exported include: #1. Pona, #2. Larebako, #3. Asana, #4. Dente and #5. Muchumudu.
Although Nigeria produces high volumes of yam (over 70 per cent of global production), Ghana exports more yam in the sub-region.
There is continuous demand for fresh yam produce from West Africa in Europe, North America and in some parts of Asia.
Global exports of Yam were valued at US$177M. As the lead exporter of Yam, Ghana has a world share of 22.1 per cent with our export value to the global markets as at 2019 standing at US$39.1M.
The unique characteristics of a product is critical in building a successful GI system.
The exportable varieties of Ghanaian yams mentioned above are noted to be of high quality in both domestic and export markets, with the “Pona” variety mostly preferred due to its unique taste, the texture, and colour of flesh after cooking.
The characteristic taste is most preferred. Others include the origin, (which is Ghana) and the size of the tuber as same sizes are carefully selected for the export market. These features form the “specific product quality”, which is key for a successful GI or origin product.
The annual value of agri-food products protected as GIs within the European Union stands at €27.34 billion.
Ghana can earn more than twice the current export value in foreign exchange from export of yam annually. The current export value of yam is about US$39.1million.
The country could earn twice this current value for the same export volumes at same price if the Yams were protected with GIs. Having an origin label would augment prices on the global market at over $78M.
It is highly projected that this figure would increase as the countries of export may drastically increase through the current arrangement within the international corridors of trade between Ghana and her partners within the intellectual property structures for origin labelling.
The Industrial Property Office of the Registrar General’s Department has the overall mandate to identify, develop, register and protect origin labelled products for Ghana.
With the current existing legal environment, Ghana must, as a matter of urgency, support the relevant agencies of state to harness this great opportunity to benefit the nation.
This will help to improve her food systems, while creating lots of decent jobs and employment for the teaming youth.
Source: Graphic Online
Prepare for hunger in Ghana – GAWU warns
Ghanaians should prepare for hunger this year if immediate steps are not taken by the government to invest in the agriculture sector of the economy, the General Secretary of the Ghana Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU), Mr Edward Kareweh, has said.
In his view, there is a deliberate attempt to reduce agriculture output in Ghana due to the low investments in the sector.
Contributing to a discussion on the impact of the ongoing geopolitical tension between Russia and Ukraine on food supply in Ghana, Mr Kareweh said on TV3’s New day show with Johnnie Hughes on Monday May 16 that “As we speak, the food you are eating was not produced in 2022. There will be hunger, already there is hunger and the hunger will be more because I don’t foresee government getting money to support farmers to produce.”
He added “there is deliberate policy to reduce out put. When you refuse to invest what are you doing?”
He further said that Ghana does not have enough food available to feed the people for even one month without importing more food commodities.
The reality is that a lot of food items are imported into the country therefore, when upheavals and other economic challenges occur in those countries, automatically they become Ghana’s issues, Mr Kareweh added.
“The realty is that we do not have enough food in this country. The reality is that we import so much into this country. So if there is a problem in those country you import those problems,” he said.
Pig farmers attribute hike in price of pork to high cost of feed
The Pig Farmers Association of Ghana is attributing the recent increase in the price of pork per kilo to the increase in the ingredients for feed, among other factors.
The Association says it has resorted to some price adjustments of between 15% and 23% to make up for the rise in feed prices.
“As the leadership of the Association, we cannot sit unconcern and watch while businesses of our members fold up as a result of an increase in feed prices and in some cases feed shortage, the reason we have increased the prices per kilo of pork,” President of the Association Kwame Appiah Danquah told Citi News.
“Food ingredients have gone extremely high, and some farmers have decided to fold up, so we did the calculations and decided on price adjustment between 15% to 25%. These adjustments will only keep us in business and not make profit till things change then we can start making profit,” Kwame Appiah Danquah added.
The leadership also expressed worry over what they say is neglect by government for the sector and the fact that they also struggle in getting retail outlets in the various malls to purchase their products.
“We are worried that the government has not been supporting us as expected. One of our challenges is the fact that we cannot get the retail outlets at the mall to purchase our products, and they prefer the foreign products to ours” the President of the Pig Farmers Association said.
The association wants government to consider importing some of the feed ingredients to make up for the scarcity.
“We have not only been struggling with price fluctuation, but also the issue of availability of feed. The feed initially used to come regularly, but we don’t know what changed, and we are hoping government will support by importing the feed to support the ones here. We are sometimes forced to slaughter our animals for lack of feed and this is not good,” the President of the association said.
Some members of the association across the country have expressed varied opinions on how the sector should be run and how government can meet them halfway.
The Central Regional Chairman of the Association who is also the National Secretary of the Association, Ing. George Ayarik expressed worry over why the government’s Rearing for food initiative has not partnered with the association to feed the second cycle institutions with pork, which according to them is no a protein source.
“I was fed on pork during my secondary school days, but I don’t know what changed, and I am urging the government to support us. This will also ease the burden on the other meat supplies such as chicken, beef among others,” the National Secretary said.
The Volta Regional Chairman of the Association, Alexander Kay Jay, urged members of the Association to consider pig farming as a business in other to make returns.
“I want to urge my colleagues to take pig farming as a business because it is only through this that we can survive.”
Source: Citinewsroom. com
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