GHANA – KOA, a Swiss-Ghanaian start-up in the cocoa industry, has inaugurated a US$ 10 million cocoa fruit factory in Akim Achiase, in the Eastern Region of Ghana.

This second state-of-the-art, which has been referred to as Africa’s largest cocoa fruit factory, has been commissioned by facility Ghana’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Kobina Hammond. He pointed out that it will process cocoa pulp into fruit juices and other products for export.

“I am equally enthused that besides the environmentally friendly juices and cocoa products are to be produced and exported,” Hammond stated.

“The factory would also generate 250 new jobs in rural Ghana, helping cocoa farmers reduce on-farm food waste in the cocoa value chain, generate additional income, and launch new unique ingredients into the food and beverage industry including chocolate confectionery products, ice cream, and drinks.”

Similarly, Anian Schreiber, managing director and co-founder of KOA, said the new investment should allow the company to increase its processing capacity tenfold.

Additionally, it will increase the number of local suppliers in its raw materials supply network by 10,000 people. The plant should also contribute to the creation of 250 new jobs.

The facility is fitted with technology that is fully integrated into the operations of the company and its business engagements, ensuring the commendable integration of modern technology into an otherwise conservative traditional environment.

According to KOA, the new equipment will create an avenue for automation, reducing human contact by about 80%. The output from the effluent treatment (Wastewater Treatment Plant) will be utilized to irrigate the Koa R&D farms, exemplifying the factory’s commitment to recycling and sustainability.

Local newsrooms note that since its foundation in 2017, KOA has upcycled 800 tons of cocoa fruit that was, until that day, overlooked in the cocoa industry.

In turn, 2,200 cocoa farmers benefitted within the first five years, earning a total of GH¢2.3 million (US$300,000).

Working closely with cocoa smallholders, Koa reduces on-farm food waste around the cocoa fruit, generates additional farmer income, and creates new jobs in rural communities.

Daniel Otu, Production & Operations Director at Koa, explained that the new factory will allow the company to grow in line with the demand from its customers.

KOA, a B Corp company, secured US$10 million as growth capital to accelerate its disruptive upcycling business around the cocoa fruit in May 2022.

The company already has commercialized its first cocoa fruit juice in the Ghanaian market, with plans to also transition to e-vehicles soon.

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