The zeal to improve cocoa value chain


…the story behind Supreme Pod

Michael Acquah is a young entrepreneur whose zeal is to make use of what is regarded as waste in the food and agriculture value chain, specifically the cocoa industry.


Michael Acquah grew up in a community called Ekwamasi in the Ajumako Enyan Essiam District of the Central Region where he first attended Ekwamasi Methodist Primary. Once his parents moved to Cape Coast, he had to switch school to Aboom AME Zion Primary School, Cape Coast for his primary education. He then moved to Bakatsir Methodist Junior High School where he wrote his Basic Education Certificate Examination (B.E.C.E.)

Upon passing successfully, he was admitted to study at the University Practice Senior High School in Cape Coast. Michael is currently pursuing a PhD in Environment and Resources Management at the Brandenburg Technical University in Germany. Before this, he had his MSc. in Environmental and Resources Management at the same university. He also had his first degree in BSc. Water and Sanitation at the University of Cape Coast (UCC).

Supreme Pod Juice

The passion to contribute to rural development and provide solutions to enhance rural livelihoods led a to a research in cocoa pulp, a waste product of cocoa. The results from the study proved to be a successful business known as ‘Supreme Pod Juice’. The research into cocoa pulp juice started in 2017 but the business aspect started in 2020.

According to Mr. Acquah, his vision is to make 100 percent use of cocoa because people are only making use of the beans and the husk mostly.

“Over the years, the processing of cocoa has mainly been on the dried beans. In the value chain of processing this dried bean, there is the first part which is the husk; the bulk outer layer that contains the beans and there is also the pod which is the whitish substance around the beans. That sweet portion around it normally goes waste when they break the pod to do the fermentation.This component goes to waste so, this is what I have developed the technology and the innovation to process into juice,” he revealed.

Mr. Acquah revealed that he bought cocoa pods from farmers in the community to begin the initial stages of his cocoa juice production and also trained the cocoa farmers on hygienic practices. By sharing his knowledge and expertise, Michael has not only improved the efficiency of cocoa pod processing but empowered the farmers to enhance their own harvesting methods which ensures higher quality of cocoa.


He disclosed that he has moved from producing 50 litres to 300 litres since receiving a grant and acknowledged the possibility of achieving mass production capabilities of 1,500 litres per day after securing further logistical improvements.

Furthermore, aside from providing additional income to cocoa farmers, Supreme Pod has also created employment opportunities for 25 young people in the community, including 15 permanent and 10 casual workers.

This stride made the Agriculture Director of the Adansi South District, David Alfred Mensah to commend Supreme Pod and Mr. Acquah for the revolutionary approach to transform the cocoa industry in Ghana, assuring his outfit’s support to grow the business.

“Supreme Pod’s juice is a clear example of finding opportunities in what is considered waste,” he commended.

Supreme Pod’s success and Michael Acquah’s dedication to creating a sustainable business has not only elevated the cocoa value chain but will also contribute to the socioeconomic development of communities. By prioritising innovation, sustainability, and community empowerment, Michael Acquah has demonstrated that the cocoa industry can evolve and thrive, bringing economic growth and job opportunities to people at the local level.

Support from EU, SNV

Supreme Pod is one of six small medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Ashanti Region that have received financial support from the European Union (EU) and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands through the GrEEn Innovation Challenge rolled out by the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation’s GrEEn Project in 2021.

Due to their support, Michael has been able to inaugurate a new state-of-the-art facility in the Adansi South District. The facility is funded by a matching grant of GH¢124,000 provided by the European Union and the Netherlands Embassy in Ghana under the GrEEn Project.

Thanks to the matching grant, Michael has been able to build a cutting-edge factory equipped with a water treatment facility, machines, and essential logistics such as personal protective equipment (PPEs) to ensure the highest standards of hygiene and product quality while ensuring the safety of his workers throughout the production process.

“The money was used for procurement and installation of water treatment systems, and machines for the factory,” Mr. Acquah explained.

He added that the funding helped him to institute his company properly: “The difference was clearly that without it [the funding] I couldn’t have even proceeded with the plan of putting up a full-scale factory”.

He tells Inspiring Startups that academic training and experience have helped in shaping the business. He indicated that resilience, prioritizing quality and safety of products are key tenets.

Mr. Acquah expressed his appreciation to SNV and its partners for the support and added that aside from the financial support, he benefited from an extensive incubation programme.

“We were put into these development training hubs, and I had boot camp training for the whole business again where my business plan was redeveloped to attract investors and make it ready for external stakeholders,” he said.

He has also recently increased the number of cocoa farmers he works with and is buying the cocoa pod from 50 cocoa farmers who supply him with approximately 20 litres of cocoa juice each.


According to Michael, he hopes to sustain Supreme Pod through team building and collaboration with institutional stakeholders and cocoa farmers. Also, he would ensure he is compliant with local and international food safety and standards and maintain high product value to customers.

Michael’s long-term vision is to be the trusted brand in the production and distribution of uniquely flavored and quality-tasting cocoa pulp products for consumers and industries.


His major challenge is financial assistance to expand his business in terms of souring, storage and distribution logistics.

Advice to young entrepreneurs

Michael Acquah advised young entrepreneurs to be resilient and stay focused in the pursuit of their business ideas.

Contact: 0557553935

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