Global food corporation – Cargill – says it is injecting more than US$113 million into expanding its cocoa processing sites in Ivory Coast and Ghana.
According to Cargill, an American cocoa processing multinational, $100 million out of that investment will go to increase the capacity of its Ivory Coast production site at Yopougon by 50 percent.
The investment is hoped to create 85 full-time local jobs and hundreds of indirect jobs in the world’s number one cocoa beans producing nation.
Cargill’s cocoa processing plant in Tema, Ghana, would also see a 20-percent increase in its current capacity with a $13 million investment.
“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”, Cargill on its website.
Additionally, officials disclosed, the company is investing $12.3 million over the next 3 years to expand its sustainability and supply chain traceability programs in the two global cocoa-producing giants.
Out of that amount, $7.7 million is allocated to Ivory Coast, and $3.4 million to Ghana towards programs designed to 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.
“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”, Lionel Soulard, managing director Cargill West-Africa explained.
The company’s sustainability and supply chain investments in Ghana and Ivory Coast are being executed as part of the Cargill Cocoa Promise, its corporate commitment to improving the lives of cocoa farmers and their communities.
Managing Director of Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business in Ghana, Aedo van der Weij, touched on the expansion project in the Ghana operation:
“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.”
“Alongside this, we also recognize 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,” van der Weij added.