WEST AFRICA – Global agribusiness company, Cargill will be investing over US$113 million to expand its cocoa processing sites in Yopougon, Ivory Coast and Tema, Ghana.

The company is planning to invest US$100 million to increase production capacity at Yopougon by 50 percent while a US$13 million investment at the Tema site in Ghana will increases its capacity by 20 percent.

To meet customer demand, Cargill said that a significant share of the additional capacity in its cocoa processing plant in Yopougon will be fully dedicated to produce Gerkens deeply rich brown cocoa powders.

Explaining the expansion of the processing plants Lionel Soulard, managing director Cargill West-Africa said:

“We aim to shift a greater share of our global grinding activities to the countries of origin, so we can support the establishment of a broader, local agri-food industry.

“Working directly with both governments and other key stakeholders, we are committed to economic growth, building sustainable local businesses and diversifying sources of income for cocoa farming communities.”

Investing in local communities, sustainability

At the same time, Cargill will also be investing US$12.3 million over the next three years to expand sustainability and supply chain traceability programs in the two countries.

This is a combination of a US$7.7 million investment in Ivory Coast, and US$3.4 million in Ghana in programs that the company said will enhance the safety and well-being of families in cocoa farming areas.

The investments are also aimed at providing a more transparent, traceable cocoa supply chain for customers and consumers as part of the Cargill Cococa Promise.

These community projects will focus on creating stronger, more resilient cocoa-farming communities.

The Ivory Coast investment will include: Expanding of the Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation System with the International Cocoa Initiative and launching of a new program with Save the Children and building six new schools.

The company is also expanding of its partnership with the International Finance Corporation to launch a digital training program, Coop Academy 2.0.

Cargill said that the US$3.4 million investment in sustainability and social programs in Ghana will go towards expanding or launching new programs with partners to create a more sustainable cocoa sector.

In Ivory Coast, Cargill has also committed an additional US$1.2 million to implement scalable mapping and monitoring technology solutions in 2020 to advance traceability of the supply chain.

In Ghana, where Cargill has already achieved 100 percent traceability in its supply chain from farm to factory using these technologies, the company said it will continue to invest in GPS polygon mapping of new farms.

According to the company, data from the deployment of GPS polygon mapping and electronic bean tracking solutions inform how Cargill designs and deploys its sustainability programs to help the company deliver on sustainably sourced products.