Cocoa Touton Processing raises capacity 25% in a year
Cocoa Touton Processing Company Ltd, established in the Free Zones Enclave of Tema in April 2015, plans to increase production capacity by 125 per cent from 24,000 tons per annum at its inception, to 60,000 tons within 5 years.
One year on, Touton Ghana has increased production capacity by 25 per cent to 30,000 tons, Mr Patrick Davailleau, the Managing Director of Touton Ghana said during a visit to the factory by President John Mahama and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, as part of his three-day visit to Ghana.
The Ghanaian subsidiary of the international cocoa, coffee and natural ingredients trader the Touton Group, was toured by the heads of state of Ghana and Ethiopia, major growers of cocoa and coffee respectively, to acquaint themselves with the company’s capacity and operations in adding value to Ghana’s cocoa.
The Managing Director said Touton Ghana’s primary processing plant which employs 135 people including three expatriates, also intends to increase its range of products from natural cocoa liquor – a main raw material for chocolate production – to include cocoa butter, cocoa cake and cocoa powder.
“We want to increase the capacity from 24,000 tons to 60,000 which means an increase of 125 per cent; and we also want to expand the range of products so that we will be sure to cover all the needs of the industry. It will represent at the end of the day, an investment of $50 million,” Mr Davailleau said.
After touring the cocoa processing factory, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn whose country also trades in coffee with the Touton Group, said he was “very much impressed.”
Commenting, he said: “Only the bean has been exported to foreign countries and the value addition was so small; and employment that it generates has been small but thanks to this factory I have seen that the agenda that we want to create more jobs and add value to our products has materialized in Ghana.”
“It would be a very good example and lesson that Africa should learn, to continue industrializing Africa and manufacturing African products.”
Mr Patrick Davailleau expressed gratitude for support from Ghanaian authorities such as the Free Zones Board, Cocobod and the Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC) which he said was important to the company’s operations, coupled with Ghana’s political and social stability, respect for rule of law and business environment.
“It was one thing to receive a strong support from authorities to invest here in Ghana one year ago. This is another thing to underline that we also received continuous support from the Ghana Cocobod and the Cocoa Marketing Company for the supply of beans allowing us to run this industry up to its maximum capacity all of last year,” he said.
By Emmanuel Odonkor