Accra Workshop: VOICE’s first Farmers Conference

Friday, 2 October 2015

This September, VOICE Network hosted its first farmers workshop in Accra, Ghana. The two day Voice of Farmers and Civil Society Cocoa Workshop was organised as a way to bring farmers, civil society and unions together in an attempt to build relationships between different delegates in the cocoa sector, to share practices and to add to an advocacy program for the coming years.

We had an amazing few days with 33 delegates from all over the world, including some key unions and producing countries. Countries included: Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, Cameroon, Nigeria, United States of America, Finland and many other countries.

The program consisted of intensive and interactive sessions which resulted in active participation of all delegates from both producing and consuming countries, rather than plenary sessions with keynote speakers. This approach turned out to be fruitful as we have made considerable progress in drafting a set of priority issues that the delegates and VOICE will aim to address in the coming time. This agenda includes improvement of collaboration between cocoa farmers, improvement of education, capacity building and the stimulation of public debate on cocoa farming and the cocoa market.

This conference was organised in collaboration with OXFAM America, which hosted its own conference on gender issues in the cocoa sector straight after VOICE’s workshop. Many delegates attended both programs.

For more information over this workshop or other VOICE activities, please email Antonie Fountain at antonie@voicenetwork.eu.