Cocobod’s subsidiary QCC granted ISO/IEC certification for cocoa inspection …as US$ 1.5m GQSP takes off

 MD, QCC, Nana Karikari receiving the certificate from Juan Pablo of UNIDO

Quality Control Company Limited (QCC), a subsidiary of Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod), has been granted accreditation by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), for inspection of cocoa activities and testing laboratory on pesticide residue.

The two important and enviable accreditations (ISO 17020 and 17025) granted to QCC’s laboratory are aimed at assuring the global market of the premium quality of cocoa produced in Ghana and to thereby increase the international image of Ghana’s cocoa.

The Managing Director, QCC, Nana Karikari Addo, indicated that the impact of the certification among others are; timely delivery of inspection services to customers, adaptation of good code of discipline because of traceability of inspection services, confidentiality and professionalism.

“The granting of accreditation to our testing laboratory has significantly improved upon the time and resource management, leading to an enhanced efficiency in our research activities; and our clients are assured of consistent and reliable services as well as timely delivery of accurate analytical results on pesticides residue in cocoa.

“We are also in the process of expanding our equipment installation for heavy metal analysis in cocoa and other agriculture projects,” he said.

The Projects Manager, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Juan Pablo Davila Sanchez, speaking at the outdooring of the QCC’s Inspectorate Division Accreditation (IDA), commended QCC for successfully completing the accreditation process for their testing and inspectorate services, which makes them the first cocoa inspection body in West Africa to be accredited to international standards.

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“This accreditation places Ghana ahead of other countries in the conformity assessment process on the global cocoa market. Accredited services have a series of benefits including an overall increase in company profits, reduction in litigation issues, as well as increasing the inspection body’s market share in service provision,” he expressed.

The outdooring ceremony took place concurrently with the launch a 1.3million Euro Global Quality and Standards Programme (GQSP), targeted at Strengthening the quality of cashew, oil palm and cocoa exports from Ghana.

GQSP, is a three-year programme founded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), and implemented by UNIDO, aimed at improving quality and standards of specific sectors of the economy such as the Cocoa, cashew and oil palm.

The project will be implemented in Ghana, by UNIDO in partnership with related stakeholder organisations such as the Cocobod, Ghana Standards Authority, Ghana Export and Import Promotion Authority.

Juan Pablo indicated that the Swiss Government has made available 16million Euro for the three-year project globally of which Ghana’s project sum is US$1.5 million.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, in an inaugural address read on his behalf, expressed great pleasure to the Swiss Government for the various supports that it has given to the government of Ghana on several development projects.

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“The project will enhance the export competitiveness of selected value chains in Ghana such as cocoa, cashew and oil palm, which are also high priority on government’s agenda to impact positively on the Ghanaian economy as a whole.

“The selected commodities will support government initiatives such as the ten-year cashew development plan. The global demand for palm oil is growing particularly fast and it is the most competitively priced vegetable oil, which can lead to economic boom for the local economy,” he indicated.

The project will improve national quality system to provide state-of-the-art conformity assessment services, build capacity of all actors in the sectors to improve culture of quality in selected value chain and create demand-driven quality infrastructure for sustainability.

At the end of the three-year programme, Ghanaian SMEs in the selected sectors are expected to be compliance with international standards and technical regulations.

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