Cocoa certification company Kooko Pa is demanding an immediate retraction and an accompanying apology from Multimedia Group over its investigative piece dubbed ‘Robbing The Poor’ aired on Monday, October 19.
According to Kooko Pa, the piece produced by Kwetey Nartey is “false, malicious and fabricated”.
“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,” Kooko Pa said in a statement issued on Wednesday, October 21 by its Director of Operations and Business Development, Joyce Poku-Marboah.
It raised concerns that Ghana Cocoa Board was misled by the investigation and did not give the farmer association firm a fair hearing.
As a result, Kooko Pa said it will offer itself fully to any inquiry to unravel the truth.
“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.”
Find the full statement below:
RE: ‘ROBBING THE POOR’ DOCUMENTARY BY KWETEY NETTEY OF THE MULTIMEDIA GROUP
Kumasi, 21stOctober, 2020.We have taken notice of a purported undercover documentary produced by one Kwetey Nettey of the Multimedia Group and aired on 19thOctober, 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 July2020, 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 Wordu for 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 purposes is 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.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT