In opening a new chocolate production facility, at Guayaquil, Ecuador, Nestlé looks to take advantage of the country’s prized Arriba beans as well as stimulate the local economy.
The grand opening, which was officially inaugurated by Nestlé’s CEO Paul Bulcke in the presence of the country’s vice president, Jorge Glas, showcased an Italian-made line using the latest technology to produce and package high-quality boxed chocolates, such as bars with different fillings and aerated chocolate. The line also has low power consumption so it has a reduced impact on the environment.
“This new facility will optimize the production of Ecuadorian chocolate, increase exports across the continent and generate new jobs,” Bulcke says.
Nestlé has invested more than $16 million in machinery for local chocolate production in Ecuador.
“We are committed to increasing our presence in the country, developing the local workforce and promoting Ecuador’s domestic output,” Bulcke explains. “I am proud to say that Nestlé Ecuador is the biggest buyer and exporter of Ecuadorian cocoa.”
He added that the investment would help the country move up the value chain, producing a sophisticated chocolate product with considerably more value than simple cocoa or tablets of chocolate.
Some 60 percent of Ecuador’s prized Arriba cocoa is produced on family farms. And, Nestlé’s Cocoa Plan aims to improve the quality of life for these small-scale farmers, buying directly from them and providing technical assistance and high-yielding plantlets.
Thus far, In Ecuador, some 2,400 cocoa families in Ecuador already have benefited from being part of the program.