CHICAGO May 7 Agribusiness giant Cargill Inc
said on Tuesday it began building a $100 million cocoa
processing facility in Indonesia to meet growing demand in Asia
for chocolate and other cocoa products.
This plant, which is expected to open by mid-2014, will
process about 70,000 tonnes of cocoa beans a year for shipment
to Cargill's customers in Asia, where rising incomes have
broadened demand for luxury foods and goods. Cargill said
products shipped will include cocoa liquor and butter as well as
the company's Gerkens brand cocoa powders.
"We have seen a significant growth in demand for cocoa
products amongst our customers across the region," Jos de Loor,
president of Cargill's Cocoa and Chocolate business, said in a
The facility under construction is in Gresik, in the
East-Java region of Indonesia. It will create about 200 jobs in
Indonesia and additional positions in Cargill's research centers
in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Beijing, China, the company said.
Cargill, which said it has been buying Indonesian cocoa
since 1995, intends to train more than 1,300 Indonesia farmers
to improve productivity and bean quality. The company now
operates two cocoa buying stations in the country and, once the
Gresik facility is operating, will double the quantity of local
cocoa beans it purchases.
"We recognize that in order to meet the growing demand from
our customers and to support the future of cocoa farming, we
must invest in our own operations and in the supply chain," De
The expanded operations in Indonesia will complement
Cargill's cocoa facilities in Western Europe, Vietnam, Cameroon,
Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Brazil and the United States, the company
Cargill and other members of the Cocoa Sustainability
Partnership, which aims to boost cocoa development in Indonesia,
met on March 26 to study ways to improve crop farming and yields
and lift Indonesia cocoa output to 1.5 million tonnes by 2020,
group chairman Ruud Engbers said in April. Engbers also heads
Mars Symbioscience Indonesia, a unit of privately owned
chocolate giant Mars Inc.
Disease and adverse weather have hampered supplies for years
in Indonesia, where small producers own about 95 percent of
cocoa plantations and the government is struggling to revive the
industry through a $350 million program.
The 22 members of the CSP group, launched in 2006, also
include Singapore-based Petra Foods and Olam International Ltd
, soft commodity giant Armajaro Trading Ltd, and the
Indonesian Cocoa Association.