Food and beverage manufacturers seeking to meet the growing demand amongst Asian consumers for chocolate and cocoa products will benefit from a greater availability of high quality cocoa powders following the inauguration of Cargill's cocoa processing facility in Gresik, Indonesia.
Creating over 300 new jobs, the US $100 million facility will have a 70,000-metric-ton processing capacity and will produce Cargill's premium brand Gerkens cocoa powders, as well as high quality cocoa liquor and butter. Its blending capability will leverage the company's broad and in-depth cocoa knowledge to enable customers to benefit from superior, consistent and tailor-made solutions that meet Asian consumers' taste profiles.
The state-of-the-art facility in the East Java region was officially opened in the presence of Indonesian Minister of Industry Mr. Saleh Husin and David MacLennan, Cargill's president and chief executive officer. The ceremony also was attended by Jos de Loor, president of Cargill's cocoa & chocolate business in Europe Middle-East, Africa and Asia, local dignitaries and customers.
"Our customers expect us to keep innovating and adding value to their products, and this investment focuses on delivering for their success," said Jos de Loor. "We have been sourcing cocoa in Indonesia since 1995, and we are committed to supporting sustainable agricultural production and a responsible cocoa supply in the country. We work with governments, communities and partners to help build a vibrant Indonesian cocoa industry with a long-term future."
The cocoa beans processed at the Gresik plant will be supplied primarily from Sulawesi, where cocoa farming is the principal income for hundreds of thousands of families and where Cargill has been sourcing cocoa since 1995. The company is strengthening activities to support sustainable cocoa production in Indonesia as part of the Cargill Cocoa Promise, the company's global commitment to improving the livelihoods of farmers, their families and their communities.
Cargill plans to train 4,500 cocoa farmers in newly created Farmer Field Schools in the Bone and Soppeng regencies, and aims to enable 2,000 of them to gain independent sustainable certification. It is supporting the Sustainable Cocoa Production Program (SCPP), a partnership that includes Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN), Swisscontact and private sector companies to provide training and technical assistance to Indonesian cocoa farmers in South Sulawesi Province, Bone and Soppeng Districts.
The new facility and the expanded sourcing operations in Indonesia will complement Cargill's existing global network of cocoa sourcing operations and processing facilities. The investment also strengthens the company's presence in Indonesia, where it has been operating for over 40 years and today employs over 12,000 people in business activities including animal nutrition, cocoa, grain and oilseeds, palm oil, copra and sugar.