VIETNMAN – Agricultural commodity trading giant Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) is expanding its presence in Vietnam through a new joint venture agreement with Poland-headquartered private label coffee company Instanta.

Through the venture, the two companies are planning to build and operate a freeze-dried instant coffee plant in Binh Duong province, Vietnam.

The joint venture will operate under the name ILD Coffee Vietnam, with construction expected to start in thefirst half of 2022

LDC says the joint venture presents another step in its strategy to pursue greater vertical integration and revenue diversification through value-added products.

“This venture complements Louis Dreyfus Company’s strong existing Vietnamese footprint and global Robusta green coffee business, enlarging our coffee product offer to customers to address growing instant coffee demand and premiumization,” said Julien Terrisse, the company’s Head of Instant Coffee.

Meanwhile, LDC’s peer Cargill is eyeing a greater share of Asia-Pacific’s chocolate market and has  entered into an agreement to acquire Aalst Chocolate Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based chocolate manufacturer.

Aalst’s product offerings include both bake-stable and artisan chocolates and compounds, in addition to a range of premium retail chocolate products and luxury pralines.

The acquisition is therefore expected to significantly expand Cargill’s Asia-Pacific footprint, adding chocolate to its existing portfolio of cocoa products, already sold throughout the region.

“Joining with Aalst strengthens our position in this critical region, enabling us to become the supplier-of-choice for industrial and foodservice customers,” said Francesca Kleemans, managing director for Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate Asia-Pacific.

“With an expanded selection of value-added and specialty chocolate products and deep technical expertise, together we can accelerate innovation, better helping customers create products that continue to surprise and delight.”

Cargill established its cocoa presence in Asia in 1995 in Makassar, Indonesia, with a team designated to support trading and supply management of cocoa to Cargill processing plants in Europe and Brazil.

In 2014, the company opened a cocoa processing plant in Gresik, Indonesia, to make premium Gerkens cocoa products.

Last year, it partnered with a local manufacturer in India last year to open a chocolate manufacturing plant which will initially produce around 10,000 tons of chocolate compounds for the domestic market.

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