MINNEAPOLIS — Cargill has partnered with a local manufacturer in India to open its first chocolate manufacturing operation in Asia. The facility is expected to begin operating in mid-2021 and initially will produce 10,000 tons of chocolate compounds, Cargill said.

“Asia is a key growth market for Cargill,” said Francesca Kleemans, managing director of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate Asia-Pacific. “Opening a chocolate manufacturing operation in India allows us to increase our regional footprint and capabilities in Asia to better support the needs of our local Indian customers as well as multi-national customers in the region. It also demonstrates our commitment to supporting the local economy with the addition of 100 new manufacturing jobs.”

Cargill established its cocoa presence in Asia in 1995 in Makassar, Indonesia, with a team designated to support trading and supply management of cocoa to Cargill processing plants in Europe and Brazil. In 2014, the company opened a cocoa processing plant in Gresik, Indonesia, to make premium Gerkens cocoa products. The new manufacturing plant in India is expected to give Cargill the ability to develop and scale up operational capabilities quickly to support growth for its customers in the region.

“Combining local insights from our experience and long-term presence as a food ingredient supplier in India with our global cocoa and chocolate expertise, we aim to become the leading supplier and trusted partner for our bakery, ice cream and confectionery customers in Asia, who will use our chocolate compounds, chips and paste to create products that will delight local palates,” Ms. Kleemans said.