CÔTE D’IVOIRE – Barry Callebaut, a leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, has inaugurated a new state-of-the-art processing unit in its plant at Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
Callebaut said that the new grinding unit at its Zone 4C Société Africaine de Cacao (SACO) plant is part of an overall strategic investment to expand cocoa processing capabilities in Côte d’Ivoire.
The cocoa processing firm rolled out a five-year US$55.29 million investment plan that aims at expanding the plants cocoa bean processing capacity in the country by over 40% by the year 2022.
According to the company, once the processing unit is fully operational, it will employ an additional workforce of 45 people and create 120 indirect jobs.
Antoine de Saint-Affrique, chief executive at Barry Callebaut Group said that the investment is also part of the company’s ambitions to contribute economic growth in the country.
“This significant investment in our Cocoa processing capacities in Côte d’Ivoire is one more sign of our long term commitment to the country and to the African continent.
Not only as a supplier of high quality cocoa beans but also as an industrial base and as an emerging market for cocoa and chocolate consumption, as is also exemplified by last year’s opening of our first Chocolate Academy Center on the African continent in Johannesburg, South Africa,” the CEO said.
In May 2018, the firm opened its first African Chocholate Academy Center in South Africa as a teaching and training centre for artisans and professionals.
The facility aims at improving artisans and professionals skills in chocolate production and provide them with new trends, techniques and recipes in the cocoa sector.
Established in 1964, the Abidjan based cocoa processing facility has over the years grown to become a leading plant for the company’s business operation globally.
According to the group, currently, its two most important cocoa grinding factories, which produce cocoa liquor, cocoa butter and powder for global and regional customers, are based in Abidjan and San Pedro.
The multinational noted that it will continue investing in the region as it gears up to serve its customers even better.
“The expansion fits with the Ivorian government’s desire to increase local cocoa processing capacity in its country and is in line with Barry Callebaut’s objective to supply the growing market for cocoa in West Africa with domestic supply,” the company noted in a statement.