Environmental sustainability at the farmer level would be mainstream by the affiliated License Buying Company of the Niche Group. Per the Ghana Cocoa Board directives, a processing company is not allowed to interface with Cocoa farmers as an LBC directly. As an indigenous processing company, the welfare of our gallant raw material suppliers is very important, through our affiliated LBC, farmers are encouraged to use environmentally friendly agrochemicals for disease and insect pest control practices while encouraging the use of on-farm materials and organic matter with little mineral fertilizer (Organo-minerals) to improve soil fertility management. Planting of shade trees for improved micro-climate and reduced deforestation are intrinsic in our affiliated LBC interventions for farmers.
As an Indigenous bean to bar cocoa-processing company, we are very mindful of our carbon footprints. Niche is now one of the biggest solar energy utilizers, drastically reducing main grid electricity reliance. The diesel boiler for the factory operation has been replaced with cocoa shell (Biomass) boilers, a classic example of carbon emission and physical waste reduction as part of our Climate Change goals.
Our affiliate LBC has introduced a digital payment system in its cocoa purchase mobilization from cocoa farmers. This process has revolutionized the cocoa purchasing space where a couple of LBCs have adopted digital payment systems thereby enhancing e-commerce in cocoa-growing communities. Cocoa farmers are now able to save and use their money without any pain.
Through Cooperative Cocoa Framers’ engagement and strengthening financial inclusion models of economic diversification are being encouraged such as snail raring, Mushroom and vegetable cultivation, and food processing.
Our factory is fully certified to comply with almost all the voluntary standards that is, Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, and Organic. It is therefore implicit that any throughput of raw material from any of the voluntary standards would be preserved at the output and could be traced back-to-back.
Through our partners, Niche has embarked on an innovation of school feeding whereby every school-going child should have the benefit of enjoying Niche fortified Cholate drink in Ghana. Two pilot school districts in Suhum and Asankragua have commenced. It is expected that the school feeding program would contribute to addressing Child labor reduction and also encourage school enrollment, leading to responsible labor practices.
We are also hopeful that our partners would also explore women empowerment endeavors and care for community programs. I