Environmental Policy

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Introduction

Kuapa Kokoo farmers union is a farmer based co-operative organisation formed in 1993 when internal marketing of cocoa was liberalized in Ghana. The Union and its management, being a responsible and responsive agricultural company and a certified Fair-trade organisation in the cocoa industry seeks to develop itself into a formidable farmer-based organisation capable of mobilising quality cocoa beans, improving the livelihood of its members and satisfying customers. The Union has Transparency, Democracy, Equity, Commitment and Care for Community as its core values and aims to provide a medium for the social, economic and political empowerment of cocoa farmers and encourage environmentally sustainable cocoa production processes by protecting the environment.

This protection begins with the recognition that our products, packaging, production, packaging and distribution activities carry environmental impact and that these impacts can be measured and reduced as part of our continuous improvement processes.
We will achieve this reduction by communicating widely throughout the supply chain the environmental effects of our activities.

Vision and Objectives

The vision of Kuapa Kokoo Farmers union (KKFU) is to become a leading, caring, efficient and the most globally recognized cooperative in cocoa production and marketing industry that is most valued and respected globally. In pursuit of this vision, one of KKFU’s core values is to demonstrate leadership in environmental protection and sustainability, safety, and social responsibility. Kuapa Kokoo Farmers union believes that responsible environmental management and leading environmental performance including afforestation and zero deforestation policy in our production line is integral to an effective and successful compliance criterion in the certification standards which is integral to the unions corporate responsibilities.

This will be achieved through leadership and the use of reliable formal management systems that support effective decision making, manage company risks and promote continuous improvement through environmental impact assessment, implementing mitigations measures and ensuring environmental monitoring to enable environmental objectives to be achieved.

KKFU believe that the principles of sustainable development encompass these widely recognized principles:

  • The conservation and preservation of natural resources and of the environment;
  • The equitable sharing of the benefits of economic activity; and
  • The enhancement of the well-being of people.

Environmental Policy Statement

Kuapa Kokoo recognizes the present trends in the environmental policies in the country coupled with the emerging global concerns on environmental and social issues and have established systems of Environmental Management and re-emphasizes the following commitment below;

  1. Recognizing legal compliances as the minimum standard for operating performance and Compliance with all applicable legal requirements and other commitments to which we subscribe, as a minimum standard; (National environmental laws and Certification Standards/codes)
  2. Maintaining robust and effective environmental management systems. These will include setting up of annual objectives for afforestation and targets within management programme to drive continual improvement in environmental performance and prevent deforestation and biodiversity protection within our operational areas.
  3. Ensure full compliance to our commitment to zero deforestation by all members and subsidiaries of the union.
  4. Prevention of pollution and minimization of waste in all its forms by the efficient use of energy resources, land resources, water resources, forest resources and packaging materials and adopting Good Agricultural practices. Avoiding as much as possible bush burning and promote composting.
  5. Protecting endangered animals and tree species and all species beneficial to nature and ensuring their protection through member education.
  6. Ensuring society members and employee participation in making environmental improvement by raising members and staff awareness and by providing technical training where appropriate.
  7. Ensure that the members of KKFU have agricultural and environmental practices that are sustainable and minimize risks and that biodiversity is protected and enhanced
  8. Understanding the environmental impacts of supply chains and in partnership with suppliers and contractors, identifying and reducing environmental impacts.
  9. Minimize risks from handling pesticides, promote the use of integrated pest management tools, and aims at reducing the amounts of pesticides used as much as possible. When pesticide use is necessary, the members of KKFU are encouraged to use pesticides that are the least toxic as economically and technically feasible (chemicals with active ingredients not on the Prohibited Material List (PML)).
  10. Identify and assess risks/non compliances and improvement opportunities and develop and implement continuous improvement plans to manage the significant risks, including consideration of strategies to address:
    • Water – minimize depletion and degradation of scarce water resources by maximizing water recycling and water efficiency and preventing water pollution through the creation of buffer zones around bodies of water and watershed recharge areas and between production areas and areas of high conservation value, either protected or not. Pesticides, other hazardous chemicals and fertilizers must not be applied in buffer zones.
    • Energy and Greenhouse – improve energy efficiency through the identification, assessment and implementation of energy efficiency projects e.g. Planting of trees within/along cocoa farms to improve carbon sequestration and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce operating costs;
  11. Integrate environmental considerations into all aspects of the union’s business decisions and activities in order to minimize environmental impact, prevent pollution, mitigate associated long term financial liability and enhance social benefit;
  12. Select appropriately qualified and competent people, provide training and set standards to enable employees, contractors and suppliers to recognize the potential and actual impact of their activities so they strive to meet the requirements of this Policy;
  13. Conduct regular inspection, audit and assessment programs and embrace recommendations for improvement with prompt decision making and follow up action;
  14. Communicate openly about our performance in an accurate, transparent and timely manner
  15. Members must avoid negative impacts on protected areas and in areas with high conservation value within or outside the farm or production areas. The areas that are used or converted to production of the Fair-trade crop must comply with national legislation in relation to agricultural land use.
  16. There shall be attempt to potentially reduce climate change by reducing emissions, increasing carbon sinks, enhancing biodiversity and maintaining natural habitats by strengthening the sustainability of local production systems by lowering dependencies on external inputs.
  17. Genetically Modified (GM) crops do not contribute to sustainability in the long run. GM crops increase dependencies on external inputs and discourage an integrated approach in the production system thus inhibiting resiliency. GM crops may also have potential negative impacts on human health and to the environment
  18. There must be efforts to minimized the use of paper for field and office usage and encourage electronic means of communication e.g. Sending field reports and data to help conserve forests, climate and public health, and minimized organizational budgets and competitiveness.
  19. KKFU shall ensure proper disposal of all electronic waste. It includes both finding another use for materials (such as donation to charity), and having systems dismantled, in a manner that allows for the safe extraction of the constituent materials for reuse in other products.
  20. Provide training for members and staff and provide the resources needed to meet the union’s environmental objectives and targets.