Olam International has acquired Indonesia-based BT Cocoa for $90 million, along with a majority stake in the cocoa processor’s owner YTS Holdings Pte Limited.
Olam sought to purchase BT Cocoa to capitalize on Asia’s trajectory to become the largest global consumer of cocoa powder. The move adds 120,000 metric tonnes of cocoa bean processing capacity and 30,000 metric tonnes of cocoa mass pressing capacity to Olam’s operations in Indonesia.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to rapidly expand our footprint in Asia and to develop this business with the founder and family of BT Cocoa,” said Olam Cocoa CEO Gerard A. Manley. “Our longstanding relationship will enable us to deliver world-class cocoa ingredients and services to our expanded customer base and look to strengthen these relationships in the future in one of the fastest growing regions in the world.”
Olam Cocoa offers origin sourcing, trading, risk management, value chain processing and supply chain solutions, to sustainability, research and development, and cocoa ingredient innovation. Meanwhile, BT Cocoa supplies size and scale in Indonesian cocoa processing and a facility equipped with the latest processing technology.
The companies worked together for three years through a Business Collaborative Agreement and have already made considerable financial and operational improvements, including helping BT Cocoa achieve a 30 percent reduction in energy consumption.
In 2018, global chocolate consumption was above 6 million metric tonnes and is expected to increase in the next five years. Indonesia is currently the world’s sixth largest cocoa-producing country, and Asia is set to become the second largest consumer of cocoa ingredients in the world led by China, India, Japan and the Philippines.
Specifically, demand for cocoa powder is increasing in Asia with a five-year compound annual growth rate of 8 percent. Growth in snack food categories such as sweet biscuits and cookies, which accounted for 40 percent of new product development in Asia in 2018, is driving this trend.
BT Cocoa’s prominence as a supplier to leading chocolate and confectionery manufacturers in the region presents new market opportunities for Olam Cocoa’s ingredients portfolio, such as value cocoa powders brand Huysman, which was launched in Asia in 2018 and to complement premium cocoa brand deZaan.
Olam Cocoa has been operating in Indonesia since 1996 and is the country’s largest exporter of cocoa beans, establishing the company’s first cocoa sustainability initiative there in 2004. Since that time, Olam has paid cocoa farmers $20 million in premiums and distributed 5 million cocoa tree seedlings. Olam Cocoa includes 65,500 Indonesian cocoa farmers across six provinces in sustainability programs. The company also owns one of the largest cocoa plantations in Indonesia, located on Seram Island.
"The relationship with Olam Cocoa represents a powerful opportunity for BT Cocoa to significantly expand our market with enhancements to quality, safety and ethically responsible cocoa products,” said Piter Jasman of BT Cocoa. “The past three years of collaboration has clearly demonstrated the potential for delivering better value. The combination of Olam Cocoa's expertise as the leading global supplier and processor of sustainable cocoa, with BT Cocoa’s strong local network, will provide our customers with increasing benefits.”