JAKARTA, INDONESIA – Cargill broke ground May 7 on a cocoa processing plant in Gresik, Indonesia, that should become operational by mid-2014. The facility will mark Cargill’s first cocoa processing plant in Asia.

“We are excited to be taking this step to strengthen our cocoa operations on the ground in Indonesia,” said Jos de Loor, president of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate. “We have seen a significant growth in demand for cocoa products amongst our customers across the region. This investment will enable us to support the growth of the local cocoa sector, process local Indonesian beans and provide high-quality cocoa products to serve the growing needs of our customers in Asia.”

The planned facility, a $100 million investment, should be able to process 70,000 tonnes of cocoa beans into a range of tailored products for customers in the Asian market. The products include cocoa liquor and butter as well as Cargill’s Gerkens cocoa powders. Cargill will create 200 new jobs in Indonesia and additional positions in its existing research and development application centers in Kuala Lumper, Malaysia, and Beijing.