An innovative marketing communication strategy to help the private sector capitalise on opportunities in the European Union (EU) has been introduced by The Kumasi Wood Cluster (KWC) and the Ghana Timber Millers Organization (GTMO).
The initiative, named: “Message House,” was developed in collaboration with government and civil society that seeks to communicate measures Ghana has put in place to meet the EU criteria for wood and wood products.
This falls under the bilateral timber – trade agreement between the European Union and the timber-exporting country outside the Union known as Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA). It is a key element of the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) signed over a decade ago, aimed at addressing illegal logging.
Mr. Kofi Afreh Boakye, the Chief Executive of the Domestic Lumber Traders Association, at a workshop in Accra discussed the communication strategy and said the “Message House” would help the private sector to market itself. He assured the international community, especially the EU that Ghana had met the sustainability and legality requirements for wood to be exported and further disclosed that in the past, a miscommunication of those processes and the absence of information on sustainability resulted in doubts among majority of EU countries over the sustainability of Ghana’s timber products.
However, the KWC and the GTMO is implementing a six-month project titled; “Development of private sector – focused messages for Ghana’s FLEGT license communication strategy,” funded by the Food and Agriculture Organisation – EU FLEGT Programme.