Ghana: Policy Highlights and Opportunities
Each year, approximately 3.2 million tons of food in Ghana is either lost or wasted along the supply chain, costing an estimated 762.32 billion in Ghanaian cedis (GH₵) to the economy. At the same time, approximately 50.2% of the population is moderately to severely food insecure and an estimated 25.5% of the Ghanaian people live in poverty.
Atlas Research: Ghana
Ghana research was published in October 2022 and was made possible with the advice and support of our on-site partners, including Food for All Africa.
Ghana’s Income Tax Act 896, 2015 (ITA) allows deductions for both monetary and in-kind donations for contributions or donations to a “worthwhile cause.”
Under the ITA and the Ghana Revenue Authority’s Practice Note on Contribution or a Donation to a Worthwhile Cause, a donation or contribution made to a charitable organization such as a food recovery organization may qualify for a deduction that is equal to the fair market value of that contribution.
Ghana’s date labeling scheme is set out in the Ghana Standards Board (Food, Drugs and Other Goods) General Labelling Rules, 1992 (L.I. 1541) (hereinafter the GSB Labeling Rules) and the Food and Drugs Authority’s (FDA) Guidelines
for the Labeling of Prepackaged Foods (hereinafter the FDA Labeling Guidelines). Neither the GSB Labeling Rules nor the FDA Labeling Guidelines G impose a dual date labeling scheme—one label to indicate food safety and another to indicate food quality.
Policy Opportunities and Recommendations
Ghana’s Value Added Tax (VAT) requires a standard rate of 12.5% with an adjusted “flat-rate” charge of 3% for wholesale suppliers or retail sellers. Certain raw and locally-produced commodities are exempt from the VAT while others, like prepackaged or prepared foods, would require VAT to be paid, typically by the food recovery organization.
Ghana also permits businesses to reclaim VAT credits for unmarketable food that is thrown away. Thus, Ghanian businesses may choose to throw prepackaged and prepared foods away as the more financially viable option rather than donating them.
Food Safety for Donations
Existing food safety rules are broad in scope and does not explicitly contain food safety requirements for food donations beyond when food is donated for entertainment purposes.
However, outside this, food donations are not explicitly mentioned in law or guidance at the national or regional level.
Ghana does not provide explicit legal protections for food donors and food recovery organizations. Generally, claims of harm arising from goods including food may be brought under the Civil Liability Act of 1963 or the Food and Drugs Act.
However, food donors and food recovery organizations may be wary of donating food due to a fear of being held liable if a beneficiary alleges harm.