Cargill is investing $113 million to expand its cocoa processing sites in the Ivory Coast and Ghana, in a move to meet growing customer demand.
The US corporation is also investing $12.3 million over the next three years to develop sustainability and supply chain traceability programmes in both the Ivory Coast and Ghana, split as $7.7 million and $3.4 million respectively.
The site in Yopougon, Ivory Coast will receive a large majority of the investment at $100 million, to increase production capacity by 50%. As a result, 85 full-time local jobs and hundreds of indirect jobs will be created.
According to Cargill, a significant share of the additional capacity in its Yopougon plant will be fully dedicated to produce Gerkens, its deeply rich brown cocoa powders. Meanwhile the Tema site in Ghana will use its $13 million investment to increase its production capacity by 20%.
Aedo van der Weij, managing director of Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business in Ghana said: “Building on the success of the ‘Good taste of Ghana’ campaign when we started producing cocoa powders in the country in 2008 and selling them worldwide to our customers, the expansion of Tema is needed to meet customer demand for high value cocoa powders.”
The sustainability and supply chain investments in the two countries are taking place as part of the Cargill Cocoa Promise: the company’s corporate commitment to improving the lives of cocoa farmers and their communities.
Cargill’s sustainability and social programmes aim to enhance the safety and well-being of children and families in cocoa farming areas, as well as providing a more transparent, traceable cocoa supply chain for customers and consumers.
Alongside its partners, Cargill’s investment intends to increase the number of cooperatives and farmers, strengthen the financial inclusion and entrepreneurship skills of women in cocoa farming households, help build new schools and support the implementation of its Child Labour Monitoring & Remediation System.
In the Ivory Coast, Cargill has also committed $1.2 million to implement scalable mapping and monitoring technology solutions in 2020 to advance traceability of its supply chain.
Van der Weij added: “We also recognise the best way to safeguard cocoa is to improve the livelihoods and well-being of farmers and their communities. The best way to achieve sustainable business practices is by working through partnerships with governments and other stakeholders who know what works for their local communities. That way both parties can do what they do best and together achieve a real transformation.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019