GHANA – Barry Callebaut, a leading international chocolate manufacturer and one of the leading processors of cocoa in Ghana, has officially inaugurated its newly installed solar generation facility in the factory in Tema.

The installation of the 504 KWp kilowatt peak (KWp) solar farm forms part of several initiatives by the company aimed at reducing its carbon footprint in its operations.

Jo Thys, Vice President of Barry Callebaut Cocoa, Africa Region, indicated that the installation of the renewable energy facility is timely considering the effect on climate change which is of greatest concern to all relevant stakeholders globally.

He stated that the solar farm marks another major stride in the history of the company’s investment in a sustainable value chain.

“This solar installation could not have come at a better time than this,” said Thys.

“Currently 14 out of 59 factories within Barry Callebaut Group are running on 100percent renewable energy.”

He further added that the solar farm was “another important step in our long history of investing in a sustainable value chain.”

He emphasized that “the installation of the 504 Kilo Watt peak solar facility will help Barry Callebaut Ghana to record an estimated reduction of 325 tons of carbon (CO2) emissions from our operations annually.”

Present at the launch was the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Free Zones Authority, Michael Okyere Baafi, applauded Barry Callebaut for going renewable energy, stating categorically that it is the way to go.

He also indicated that the amendment of the Ghana Free Zones Act 504 (Act 2005) which is expected to come into effect soon will seek to address discrepancies in utility tariffs between companies located in the free zones enclave and those outside the enclave.

Charity Sackitey, Managing Director of the company, said being the first private cocoa processor to be established in Ghana 18 years ago, the company has systematically invested in production capacity and product range thereby increasing value addition to the raw cocoa beans.

According to Sackitey, “the Barry Callebaut Group announced in 2016 the bold ambition to make sustainable chocolate the norm by 2025 when it launched its sustainable program ‘forever chocolate’.

 Under the forever chocolate program, Barry Callebaut has committed itself to address the biggest sustainability challenges in the chocolate supply chain.

Its goals for addressing sustainability challenges include eradicating child labour from the supply chain, to lift more than 500,000 cocoa farmers out of poverty, to use 100percent sustainable ingredients in all products, and to become carbon and forest positive.