The effects of social sustainability practices on cocoa supply chain performance (a survey on cocoa supply chain firms)

No Thumbnail Available
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Cocoa is a vital agricultural commodity in Ghana, with the cocoa industry contributing significantly to export earnings and supporting millions of livelihoods. However, issues like child labour, unfair wages, and unsafe working conditions have posed challenges to social sustainability within the cocoa supply chain. This thesis examined the effects of social sustainability practices on the performance of firms operating in Ghana's cocoa supply chain industry. A quantitative methodology was adopted, with survey questionnaires distributed to ii 206 employees of cocoa trading and logistics companies in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. The respondents included managing directors, procurement officers, logistics managers, and other supply chain professionals directly involved in buying, transporting, and distributing cocoa. The findings revealed positive relationships between supplier, manufacturer, and customer social sustainability practices and cocoa supply chain performance. Supplier practices like avoiding child labour, ensuring fair wages, and promoting safe working conditions were associated with greater supply chain resilience and efficiency. These practices help build supplier legitimacy and strong relationships with other stakeholders like manufacturers and exporters. Manufacturer practices including ethical sourcing policies, community investments, and supporting employee wellbeing reduced supply chain risks and strengthened relationships with suppliers, communities, and employees. Customers prioritizing social sustainability further created market incentives for ethical practices as meeting this customer demand led to competitive advantage. Overall, the results suggest that social sustainability practices can enhance cocoa supply chain performance in multiple ways in Ghana. The findings imply that companies should actively engage suppliers on improving labour policies, source cocoa ethically, support community development programs, and respond to customer preferences for sustainably produced cocoa.
A thesis submitted to the institute of distance learning, Kwame Nkrumah university of science and technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of master of science in logistics and supply chain management