PRESS STATEMENT

RE: ‘ROBBING THE POOR’ DOCUMENTARY BY KWETEY NETTEY OF THE MULTIMEDIA GROUP Kumasi, 21st October, 2020.

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PRESS STATEMENT

RE: ‘ROBBING THE POOR’ DOCUMENTARY BY KWETEY NETTEY OF THE MULTIMEDIA GROUP Kumasi, 21st October, 2020.


We have taken notice of a purported undercover documentary produced by one Kwetey Nettey of the Multimedia Group and aired on 19th October,  2020  on Joy FM and Joy News on Multi TV dubbed: Robbing the Poor.

In the said documentary, Kokoo Pa was mentioned and smeared as being part of a chain of actors who connive  and  conspire  to  sell  Certificate  of  Sustainably  Certified  Cocoa  to  make money  off  the  sweat  of cocoa farmers in Ghana.

We  wish  to  unequivocally  place  on  record  that  the  context  in  which  Kokoo  Pa  is  mentioned  in  the documentary  is  false,  malicious  and  fabricated.  Kokoo  Pa shall  therefore take  all  steps  necessary  to protect its unblemished track record as  the foremost  Farmer Organization which pioneered the farmer group model of Cocoa certification in Ghana.

We  recall  that  somewhere  in July 2020,  Mr.  Abraham  Appiah-Kubi  of one  of  the  Licensed  Buying Companies  in  Ghana invited  our  Executive  Director,  Mr. Fred  Amponsah  to  a  meeting  at  a  hotel  in Kumasi. At the said meeting, he was introduced to one Hope Wordu of Business Assurance B.V and two other persons purporting to be representatives of a Licensed Buying Company known as Equator. These persons proposed  a  certification  project  to  him  and indicated  that they were  in  need  of a  farmer organization like Kokoo Pa to be the training partner in the said project.

To that end, our Executive Director explained what Kokoo Pa does and how  the training services could be  carried  out  in  order  to  get  a  group  of  farmers  certified.  Prior  to  the said meeting,  Abraham  had requested a copy of Kokoo Pa’s Certificate to be sent to the group which our Executive Director sent to him  on  the  basis  of  good  faith,  having  known  him  for  a  considerable  number  of  years.  It is  worthy  to note that there is nothing wrong for an organization like Kokoo Pa to share a copy of its certificate with partners  and/or  prospective  partners  as  it  is  even  a  requirement  for  Certified  organizations  to  display their Certificates openly at their offices. The group further requested a budget from Kokoo Pa during the meeting  and  in  response,  Kokoo  Pa  later  submitted  an  indicative  budget  to Hope  Wordufor  onward transmission  to  the  said  group  which  we  are  now  learning  was  a  fictitious  Licensed  Buying  Company, created purposely for this documentary.

We  suspect  that  it  was  at this  meeting  that  our  Executive  Director  was  filmed  secretly as  part  of  the grand ploy to mischievously connect him and our reputed organization to a chain of activities to suit the objective of the documentary’s storyline. We find the action of the Journalist and Multimedia Group unethical, malicious and wicked. We hereby state that the answers provided by our Executive Director were simply a standard industry practice where time, costs and logistics utilized by all cocoa certification training  organizations  are  compensated  for  in  order  to  get  farmers  certified.  For  Multimedia  Group  to use  the  copy  of  Kokoo Pa’s Certificate and the indicative budget submitted as basis to support their storyline and twist it to suit their own editorial purposesis surprisingly wrong and an exposition of their lack  of  understanding of  the  concept  of  cocoa  certification.  We  also  find  it  very  curious  that  the  full name of the said Abraham and the name of his organization were not mentioned in the documentary.

Kokoo Pa wishes to place on record that it has never conducted any business with the said Hope Wordu who made statements related  to forging certification  documents in the documentary. There has never been any direct or indirect relationship between Kokoo Pa and Hope Wordu and his organization. During the  interactions,  no  money  or anything  of  business  transactional  value  was  paid  to  Kokoo  Pa  or  its Executive Director.

We  also  place  on  record  that  after  the  said  meeting,  Kokoo  Pa  never  received  any  feedback  from  the group on the way forward of the proposed project. Neither was Kookoo Pa contacted for its comments on  the  said  documentary  before  its  publication.  We  are  in  shock  and  find  it  baffling  as  to  why  the producer of the documentary featured a few seconds of what our Executive Director said and twisted it out of context to suit their own publication motive.

Owing to this mischievous documentary, which is a complete aberration of the truth,  the Ghana Cocoa Board  has also been  misled  to  make  some  unfortunate  comments  about  our  organization,  without affording  us  a  fair  hearing  on  the  matter. We  believe this amounts  to  an administrative  injustice  and procedural  unfairness  to  Kokoo  Pa.  We  therefore  welcome  any  further  enquiry  by  Ghana  Cocoa  Board on this issue. Kokoo Pa will offer its maximum cooperation to any such enquiry as it is strongly convinced that  it  has  not  engaged  in  any unethical conduct to cheat the  very  farmers  for  whom  the  organization has worked so hard for more than a decade to enhance their livelihoods and welfare.

We have since instructed our lawyers to write to Multimedia Group demanding a retraction and apology, failing  which,  under  advisement,  we  shall  avail  ourselves  of  all  remedies  afforded  by  and  at  law  to protect and preserve our hard-won reputation.

We assure all our local and international partners as well as the general public that Kokoo Pa continues, as always, to conduct its business of training farmers while observing the highest ethical standards. The welfare and improved livelihood of the cocoa farmer remain our prime motivation in everything that we do. Thank you.

...END...

JOYCE POKU-MARBOAH
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT