SWITZERLAND – Swiss supplier of organic food raw materials and organic chocolate, Pronatec, has bolstered its share of the global organic cocoa market size that is projected to reach US$694.3 million by 2026 growing at a CAGR of 9.5% during 2021-2026 with its 100 percent organic cocoa-processing plant in Beringen.
Pronatec says the plant can process around 15,000 tonnes of organic cocoa beans a year, sourced from smallholder cooperatives. It is the first production plant in Switzerland to make all three semi-finished products: cocoa mass, cocoa butter, and cocoa powder.
The company’s fundamental decision to transfer the processing of its organic cocoa beans from external contract processors abroad to Switzerland paved the way for the project.
Thanks to its unique direct-sourcing system, Pronatec noted that every product can be traced back to the cocoa-growing smallholder by the manufacturer.
According to the Swiss chocolate giant, all semi-finished cocoa products are processed in strictly separated batches.
Each consignment of beans is handled separately, with no mixing up with preceding or subsequent production runs, enabling the plant to meet the strict criteria for organic and fair-trade certification.
Additionally, due to deodorizing without the use of pressure or additives, this food-quality product has low FFA values (free fatty acids), which means it can be stored for a long time and remain stable.
The company said its pure cocoa butter is ideal for making premium-quality natural cosmetics and is aimed particularly at manufacturers of sustainable cosmetics and beauty products, for whom it is a priority to use fairly and transparently produced ingredients that contain no harmful substances.
“The growing popularity of local produce and trends like petrochemical-free formulas, ‘clean beauty’ and skin minimalism are driving demand for natural, high-quality ingredients,” said CEO of Pronatec David Yersin.
“Demand from the market is confirming the trend towards stricter labels such as Bio Suisse, Demeter, and FLO Fairtrade with physical traceability. Our products help to meet that need.”
He pointed out that Pronatec has been providing Swiss chocolate made from organically grown and fair-trade cocoa beans since 1996, and was the first company in the world to offer organic and Fairtrade-certified chocolate.
Touching on sustainability, Yersin said the company’s energy efficiency was taken into consideration in the plant design and implementation.
For example, in the separation of temperature zones, heat recovery and efficient insulation were installed.
Furthermore, emissions were considered from the beginning of the planning process to meet not only all safety requirements but also the highest demands in terms of environmental compatibility.
He gave an example of a state-of-the-art exhaust air after-treatment system that has been installed to prevent unpleasant odors.