In breaking ground on its first Asian cocoa processing plant in Gresik, in the East-Java region of Indonesia earlier this week, Cargill revealed how deep its commitment to develop the Asian cocoa sector is — $100 million deep.
Cargill, which has sourced cocoa from Indonesia since 1995, already has two cocoa buying stations in the country. Once the new facility is up and running, Cargill will double the amount of cocoa beans purchased from Indonesian cocoa farmers. This not only offers smallholder farmers a larger market for their crops, but supports Cargill’s goal of long-term sustainable global cocoa production.
The $100-million investment will create some 200 new jobs in Indonesia. The state-of-the-art facility will also strengthen the company’s Indonesian cocoa sourcing network and cocoa sustainability activities.
“We are excited to be taking this step to strengthen our cocoa operations on the ground in Indonesia,” says Jos de Loor, president, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate. “We have seen a significant growth in demand for cocoa products amongst our customers across the region.”
Expected to open mid-2014, the facility will process approximately 70,000 metric tons of cocoa beans into a slew of products for customers in the Asian market. This includes Cargill’s premium quality cocoa liquor, cocoa butter and Gerkens cocoa powders.
“We have been working with cocoa farmers and their communities for many years, across a number of countries and regions outside of Indonesia,” continues de Loor. “We recognize that in order to meet the growing demand from our customers and to support the future of cocoa farming, we must invest in our own operations and in the supply chain.”