It is perhaps the sight of 2800 cocoa farmers, waiting patiently to queue up district by district to vote for their new National Executive Committee, that really brings home how extraordinary Kuapa Kokoo is.
For the farmers, one man and one woman from all the 1300+ Kuapa village societies across Ghana, just the sight of everyone assembled, representing the full 85,000 membership, is enough to make everyone feel proud and freshly committed to this organisation, the biggest cocoa farmers co-operative in the world. Assembled in the Royal Parade Ground at Kwame Nkrumah University (KNUST) there is a palpable sense of ceremony and occasion.
For two days their job, a job everyone takes very seriously, is to listen to the manifestos of the candidates for the National Executive positions, to ask questions and consider their suitability - and then vote accordingly. The Electoral Commission of Ghana supervises and ensures proper procedures, and a police guard (though unlikely to be necessary) is there to oversee proceedings.
The National Executive has grown to 13 and all positions, except for two, are up for election. We are delighted to see that Esther Ephraim Mintah and Mary Appiah - who were Kuapa's ambassadors at Fairtrade Fortnight recently, were both elected. Fatima Ali, who has taken the position of interim President since the unexpected death of Christiana Ohene-Agyare, though uncontested, was also voted in as the new Kuapa president. We wish them all well!
With the long and rigorous election process completed, the new Executive are sworn in, and the farmers anticipate the programme for the following day - the 20th Kuapa Kokoo Annual General Meeting.