Puratos has closed on €1 billion ($1.17 billion) of financing from a group of private investors and will use the first draw of the financing to accelerate its Cacao-Trace program, which helps cocoa farmers increase their revenue thanks to the production of better-tasting chocolate achieved through fermentation, according to the company. Barings, a global investment management firm, was the lead account in the financing.

Belgium-based Puratos and Belcolade, a Puratos brand, created the Cacao-Trace program in 2014. The financing will support the purchase of beans certified as Cacao-Trace from farmers as well as the construction of 10 cocoa post-harvest centers and 3 grinding lines in Central America, South America, Africa and Asia.

“The sustainable financing was granted on a 20-year term, which shows both Puratos’ and its investment partners’ long-term vision,” says Jean-Philippe Michaux, chief financial officer and head of the sustainability steering committee at Puratos. “As a family company we think in terms of generations. This funding will help us accelerate our efforts and further improve the positive impacts for the chocolate communities. It is our commitment to you and to future generations to enjoy the best tasting chocolate for many years to come.”