Mi-Cocoa (MC) is an agribusiness start-up in Ghana was founded in May 2018 on the back of 13 years of active traditional cocoa farming.
Untapped Opportunity in Cocoa Processing
Mi-Cocoa has recognized that there is a huge untapped opportunity in Ghana to augment and market the entire cocoa processing experience as is done in places like Grenada and Sao Tome. Cocoa beans used for chocolate and other cocoa products are also being traced by discerning customers to their original source, just as wine is traced to particular vineyards.
This trend opens up a world of possibilities in the cocoa farming industry, which MI-Cocoa has unearthed. The agribusiness start-up seeks to realise additional value from the cocoa bean and has come up with a range of products derived both through strategic collaborations and enhanced processing of the erstwhile sun-dried and fermented beans.
CEO of MI-Cocoa, currently has almost 70 acres of Cocoa at various stages of growth under cultivation. In the relatively short time that the products have gone to market, Mi-Cocoa products have generated wide interest in both the local and international markets.
Mission and Objectives
A dedicated team of eight (8) staff members, keep the wheels of the agribusiness in motion. The mission of the agribusiness startup is ” To develop an authentic Ghanaian cocoa-agribusiness venture which directly benefits all the participants involved in the value chain by harnessing innovation, inspiring change, generating employment, creating wealth and securing the livelihood of future generations”.
In addition to its mission, MI-Cocoa seeks to achieve the following objectives
- To develop a comprehensive range of value added products from raw cocoa beans both for internal consumption in Ghana and for export in line with Ghana COCOBOD’s target of up to 50% value addition of currently exported raw cacao beans.
- To demonstrate to indigenous cocoa communities that a vertically integrated agri-business has the potential to yield great returns. By this we seek to stem the mass exodus from the rural cocoa growing areas of the youth and provide employment, mentoring and training opportunities for them
- To restore royalty, dignity and wealth back to cocoa farming.
MI-Cocoa Brand and Product range
Due to the background of the primary founder as a traditional chief, the founders decided to adopt the brand name of Ohene Cocoa since Ohene means Chief in the Akan language of Ghana. This was with a view to restoring some of the traditional heritage associated with cocoa farming in Ghana.
MC realised that there were a myriad of cocoa products available in Europe, the US and other developed countries, however none of those were being produced in Ghana. Also, every single part of the cocoa pod had multiple uses. In line with the business’ sustainability goals, they began researching the possibilities and set out to demonstrate that what is already discovered about cocoa processing in Ghana is only the tip of the iceberg!
The agribusiness start-up’s model for product development is in collaboration with selected artisans who share the passion and vision to see Ghana’s cocoa products take their rightful place on the global cocoa map. The story is still unfolding.
Product range is called the ‘Adepa’ range. ‘Adepa’ in the Akan language means ‘A Good Thing’. Products reflect the rich nutritional and versatility profile cocoa possesses. The Adepa range stirs hearts and minds to the fact that there is a whole lot more to cocoa processing in Ghana than Cocoa just being an export crop or the main ingredient in chocolate. Their product range (both currently available and under development) is as detailed below:-
- ADUANPA (Food, Health/Wellness)
- Cocoa Nibs
- Cocoa Crunch & other Cocoa Confectionery & Chocolate
- Cocoa Husk Tea
- Cocoa Wine
- Cocoa Cereals & Trail Mixes (under development)
- ASETENAPA (Home & Well-Being)
- Cocoa Candles, Cocoa Pot Pourri
- ODWENFOPA (Art)
- Cocoa Art pieces & Collectors’ Items
- ADEKYEPA (Gifts)
- Cocoa Gift Boxes & Hampers
- OKUAFOPA (Farm Tours)
- Cocoa Eco-Tours & Trail Hikes
- HONAMPA (Skincare/Cosmetics)
- Cocoa Soaps
- Cocoa Scrubs, Face Masks, Serums, Body Butters (under development)
The agribusiness start-up is currently in discussions with Solidaridad on their CORRIP II and MASO Programs. Solidaridad is an international organization that focuses on stimulating sustainable supply chains with a particular focus on food security, nutrition and community development.
Achievements of MI-Cocoa Ltd
- Winners of Best Cocoa Consumption Campaign Award @ 1st Ghana Cocoa Awards – Nov 2019
- Winners of Best Artisanal Cocoa Processing Company Award @ 1st Ghana Cocoa Awards – Nov 2019
- Winner of Cocoa Ecotourism Award @ 2nd Ghana Cocoa Awards – Nov 2020
MI-Cocoa reach and markets
Up until this time, the agribusiness start-up has focused on the local market. Having recently achieved full FDA certification in the 3rd quarter of 2020, the start-up is poised and ready to process cocoa in Ghana for export. It has a dedicated following of customers in Europe, the US, Asia and other parts of Africa. The business intends to focus on exports from the second quarter of 2021.