JoyNews has conducted an investigation that reveals the possibility of the collapse of the country’s largest indigenous cocoa-buying company, PBC, due to a sharp decline in market share from 30.88% to 8% in the last five years.
PBC’s management hinted at downsizing the staff in January 2022 as it was unable to meet its financial and operational obligations. Later in August 2022, the management issued a memo stating that it could not pay salaries to its staff, leading to a massive debt, decreased revenue, and tons of cocoa beans stuck in farms.
PBC is currently unable to purchase cocoa for the main crop season in 2021, and the purchasing clerks are now using PBC’s facilities to purchase and trade cocoa for competitors. PBC’s market share stood at 30.8% in the 2015/2016 main crop season, indicating that the company was able to purchase 240,297 tonnes of cocoa.
Still, as at the end of the 2021/2022 main crop season, the company’s market had dropped to 8% because PBC was only able to purchase 52,364 tonnes for the season.
As of 2020, PBC’s long-term loans were 504 million cedis, and it is now a tale of uncertainty for over 900 staff of PBC who have been battling irregular payment of salaries.