Global cocoa and chocolate company, Cargill says it will invest a total of $113 million in the world’s two largest cocoa producing countries, where it has been doing business, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. Cote d’Ivoire is the world’s leading producer of cocoa, followed by Ghana.
Available information shows that cumulative cocoa arrivals at Ivorian ports since the beginning of the season as at August 2019, were estimated at 2.135 million tonnes, up 12 per cent from the 1.913 million tonnes recorded during the same period of the previous season. Production in Ghana reached about 850,000 metric tonnes for the 2018/19 crop season.
In a press release copied to ghanabusinessnews.com, Cargill says it is investing over $113 million to expand its cocoa processing plants in Yopougon, Cote d’Ivoire and Tema, Ghana.
Cargill says an investment of $100 million in the Yopougon plant is expected to increase production capacity by 50 per cent, create 85 full-time local jobs and hundreds of indirect jobs, while a $13 million investment in Tema would increases capacity by 20 per cent.
“To meet customer demand, a significant share of the additional capacity in our cocoa processing plant in Yopougon will be fully dedicated to produce Gerkens® deeply rich brown cocoa powders,” the release said.
Cargill which has been doing business in Cote d’Ivoire since 1997 and employs 490 people in that country says, its network of buying stations, commercial, sustainability and crop research teams work closely with cocoa farmers and communities to source locally grown beans for its state-of-the art processing operation which produces cocoa products for food and confectionery customers around the world.
“Additionally, we source and trade cotton from Ivory Coast and neighboring markets in West Africa,” it added.
Cargill indicates that it has been buying cocoa from Ghana for over 40 years and in 2008 opened its state-of-the-art cocoa processing facility in Tema.
“Today the company has around 245 employees processing cocoa products to service food and confectionary customers locally and around the world. In 2016 Cargill added a licensed buying company (LBC) – Cargill Kokoo Sourcing Ltd – to its Ghanaian footprint. The LBC operations bring innovative ways to trade with our farmers, placing emphasis on our sustainability and traceability efforts,” it said.
The company notes further that at the same time, it is also investing $12.3 million over the next three years to expand sustainability and supply chain traceability programs in the two countries.
“This is a combination of a $7.7 million investment in Ivory Coast, and $3.4 million in Ghana in programmes that will enhance the safety and well-being of children and families in cocoa farming areas and provide a more transparent, traceable cocoa supply chain for customers and consumers,” it said.
Lionel Soulard, managing director of Cargill West-Africa was quoted as saying: “We aim to shift a greater share of our global grinding activities to the countries of origin, so we can support the establishment of a broader, local agri-food industry. Working directly with both governments and other key stakeholders, we are committed to economic growth, building sustainable local businesses and diversifying sources of income for cocoa farming communities.”
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi
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