AMSTERDAM — Cargill is investing more than $113 million to expand two West African cocoa processing sites.
The company announced a $100 million investment aimed at doubling its production capacity in Yopougon, Ivory Coast. An additional $13 million investment in Tema, Ghana, will increase production capacity by 20%.
“We aim to shift a greater share of our global grinding activities to the countries of origin, so we can support the establishment of a broader, local agri-food industry,” said Lionel Soulard, managing director of Cargill West Africa.
The company also will spend a combined $12.3 million over the next three years to expand sustainability and supply chain traceability programs in the two countries.
The Ivory Coast programs will focus on expanding the Child Labor Monitoring System and helping youth at risk of child labor. Cargill plans to work with the International Cocoa Initiative to increase the number of cooperatives and farmers in the region by more than 50%. Funds also will provide management, operational and digital training programs for cooperative leaders and female entrepreneurs in the region. Other initiatives include setting up Community Development Plans and Community Action Plans in 23 Ivorian communities, supporting female entrepreneurship and financial inclusion and constructing six new schools.
In Ghana, funds will support the implementation of the Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation System. In addition to building six new schools in key communities, Cargill will focus on improving dietary diversity through homestead gardens and nutrition education programs.
“… The best way to safeguard cocoa is to improve the livelihoods and well-being of farmers and their communities,” said Aedo van der Weij, managing director of Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business in Ghana. “The best way to achieve sustainable business practices is by working through partnerships with governments and other stakeholders who know what works for their local communities.”