On August 25, the Ghanaian-Swiss start-up Koa took the next step to scale its impact in the cocoa sector. Koa inaugurated its second cocoa fruit factory in Ghana, together with 600 guests, the Ministry of Trade & Industry, and the Embassy of Switzerland. The new facility will allow Koa to scale its production capabilities tenfold and thereby allow the company to cooperate with an additional 10,000 cocoa smallholders in Ghana.
The independent Ghanaian-Swiss company is the first company in West Africa to have unlocked a new value chain around the overlooked cocoa pulp. Working closely with cocoa smallholders, Koa utilizes more parts of the cocoa fruit and increases cocoa farmers’ income while, at the same time, creating innovative and sustainable ingredients for chocolate, confectionery, ice cream, and beverages.
Since its foundation in 2017, Koa has upcycled 800 tonnes of cocoa fruit that was, until that day, overlooked in the cocoa industry. 2,200 cocoa farmers benefitted within the first five years, earning a total of GHS 2.3 million (USD 300,000). To scale its business and meet the demand for cocoa fruit products, the company built a second factory, located in Akim Achiase in the Eastern Region of Ghana. Daniel Otu, production and operations director at Koa, explained that “the new factory will allow the company to grow in line with the demand from our customers. The factory will generate 250 new jobs in rural Ghana and we will extend our cocoa fruit upcycling to an additional 10,000 cocoa farmers."
The inauguration of the cocoa fruit factory on August 25 marked the beginning of a new era for Koa. It highlights the contribution of the company towards sustainable growth in Ghana and making a positive impact on the cocoa industry. In his welcome address during the event, Koa’s Managing Director and Co-Founder Anian Schreiber highlighted how the new factory serves as a milestone in the company's ambition to positively transform the cocoa value chain. “By supplying products for both the Ghanaian and international market, we will add value to the farmers, the communities, and all people who work around here. This factory will connect Achiase and Ghana to the world,” Anian Schreiber said.
Inaugurating the factory on behalf of Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the minister of trade and industry, Kobina T. Hammond, noted, “as a government, we believe that prosperity for all is achievable through industrial transformation that is inclusive and sustainable that also ensures the highest standards of food safety to guarantee significant market access for products wholly or substantially produced in Ghana.”
Dr. Simone Haeberli, deputy head of mission & head of cooperation, embassy of Switzerland in Ghana, Togo, and Benin, called Koa “a leader on this journey” and concluded: “What Koa is doing here is exactly what we were hoping to see. This makes us proud.”