ECOM Ghana, a pioneer in the cocoa value chain, has done it again by winning two awards at the 2021 Sustainability and Social Investment (SSI) awards. In addition to being named the ‘Best Company in Stakeholder Engagement’, Muhammadu Muzzammil-the firm’s country director, received the ‘Sustainability Leadership’ award.
The SSI awards, an initiative of Ianmatsun Global Services – organiser of the Health, Environment, Safety and Security awards, seek to raise awareness and encourage companies, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) foundations, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and other implementing agencies to deliver high-impact CSR projects which align with government’s focus on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as to promote a multi-stakeholder approach that leads to excellence.
The company was recognised for the impact it makes through exemplary success in voluntarily improving the quality of life for people and communities, particularly through their philanthropic activities as part of CSR initiatives. That aside, the awards sought to recognise ECOM Ghana’s corporate organisation strategic initiatives to achieve inclusive growth and inclusive sustainable development in the agribusiness value chain.
Accepting the award on behalf of the Country Head, Ibrahim Menkeh-Head of Cocoa/SMS for ECOM Ghana stated: “We are delighted that our incredible work has been recognised in this significant way. As an organisation, we are committed to delivering quality programmes and operational excellence through innovation, efficiency and empowerment across the agribusiness industry in the pursuit of our rural prosperity agenda.
“Our success in Ghana demonstrates that our innovative and strategic policies set the standard in the agribusiness value chain; and as we look to the future, I know we will continue to raise the bar.”
ECOM Ghana is a subsidiary of ECOM Agro Industrial Corporation, a Swiss-based commodity merchant and sustainable supply chain management firm with operations in more than 40 countries around the world.
The company is involved in several businesses within the agriculture value chain through a conglomerate of companies which increase over 140,000 farmers’ yield, reduce farmers’ costs, and provide a platform for access to markets, improved knowledge, advanced crop science technology and mechanisation, warehousing and logistics, among others.
Not only does ECOM Ghana purchase between 100,000 and 130,000 MT of cocoa beans per year through Agroecom Ghana Limited, Unicom Ghana Limited, and Sustainability Management Services (SMS), but it also provides a variety of services which support the agricultural value chain through its conglomerate of companies including Unicom Specialty Commodities, Crop Doctor Ghana Limited, COFCO, JNF Properties Limited and Kiteko Ghana Limited.
Over the years, ECOM Ghana has been at the forefront of Ghana’s cocoa industry; contributing over US$50million in premium payments and community infrastructure development, as well as a plethora of projects across the country.
Its strategic development plan prioritises major areas such as health, education and human empowerment. Notable health projects include the inauguration of a newly-constructed clinic in the Greater Accra Region’s Okaikwei Central Constituency to improve healthcare delivery in the community.
The US$200,000 facility includes two wards, a laboratory, a pharmacy, an OPD unit, a kitchen and a washroom. This is in addition to the seven hospitals established by the firm over the years to provide quality health care for Ghanaians.
Over the last seven years, education projects have been undertaken which include the establishment of 37 schools, installation of 50 computer classrooms, and refurbishment and renovation of 27 schools. ECOM Ghana has also invested GH¢1.4million in the Otumfou Agroecom Mobile Learning Platform which trains over 40,000 rural children in ICT, and has donated classroom ergonomics and building materials to school construction projects. This year alone, the company has donated 240 dual-desks to schools in their operational areas.
Key projects undertaken in empowerment over the years, and particularly the year under review, include the distribution of GH¢98million in cash farmer premiums to their valued farmers, as well as distributing necessary farm implements (such as Wellington boots, overalls, fertiliser, pesticides, cutlasses and so on) to all their farming communities to assist farmers in their farming activities.
That aside, ECOM Ghana continues to train over 150,000 farmers and provides the ECOM Talent Programme, which allows final-year students to join the team as National Service Personnel and gain hands-on corporate experience while making a difference in rural communities. It has enrolled 31 national service personnel this year alone, and takes pride in the fact that their retention rate has always remained at 90%. The firm’s total direct and indirect job creation is estimated to be over 6,000.
Under the excellent leadership of its management team, the company continues to leverage its resources to create rural prosperity while remaining the pacesetter in Ghana’s cocoa industry. Congratulations to the entire group.