Cargill breaks ground on new cocoa processing facility in Indonesia
American agribusiness firm Cargill has broken ground on a $100m cocoa processing facility in Gresik, in the East-Java region of Indonesia, a move which is expected to create approximately 200 new jobs.
According to the company, the new facility is being established to cater to the increasing demand for cocoa products and promote the development of the Asian cocoa sector.
The facility, which is expected to go onstream by mid-2014, will process approximately 70,000t of cocoa beans into a wide range of customised products for customers in Asia.
These products will include cocoa liquor and butter, as well as Cargill’s Gerkens branded cocoa powders.
The new facility will be the company’s first cocoa processing plant in Asia.
Cargill stated that the new project reflects its commitment to develop and grow the Asian cocoa industry, and will strengthen its Indonesian cocoa sourcing network and cocoa sustainability activities.
Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate president Jos de Loor said that the company has seen a significant rise in demand for cocoa products amongst its customers in the region.
“This investment will enable us to support the growth of the local cocoa sector, process local Indonesian beans and provide high-quality cocoa products to serve the growing needs of our customers in Asia,” de Loor added.
Apart from creating 200 new jobs at the new facility, Cargill will also add additional positions in its existing R&D application centres in Kuala Lumpur and Beijing as well as in its commercial network, which it is strengthening to better cater to the needs of Asian customers.
The new facility is part of Cargill’s growth strategy in Indonesia’s cocoa sector and is in line with its efforts to support long-term sustainable cocoa production globally.
The company is growing and sustaining cocoa farming communities through its Cargill Cocoa Promise sustainability programme, while meeting the global demand for sustainable cocoa beans.
As part of this programme, Cargill is focusing on three areas – training farmers, supporting farming communities, and investing in the long-term sustainable production of cocoa.
Currently, Cargill operates two cocoa buying stations in Indonesia; once the new plant commences operation, the company will double the quantity of cocoa beans it purchases from cocoa farmers to cater to the demand for local processing.
The new facility and expanded sourcing operations in Indonesia will complement Cargill’s global network of cocoa sourcing and processing facilities in Western Europe, Vietnam, Cameroon, Ghana, C?te d’Ivoire, Brazil and the US.