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New cocoa processing factory to be built by JB Foods in Ivory Coast

Theobroma cacao, also called cacao tree and cocoa tree, is an evergreen tree in the family Malvaceae. Cacao seeds are the source of commercial cocoa, chocolate and cocoa butter.

JB Foods, an SGX-listed company, is adding a new factory to its existing processing facilities for cocoa beans in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

The corporation will first invest roughly EUR 60 million ($87.8 million) in the nation as part of its expansion plans, which also include the creation of job opportunities.

According to the group’s sustainability framework and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) roadmap, the new cocoa bean processing facility will use cutting-edge technology to produce premium cocoa ingredient products, such as cocoa mass, butter, and powder. This technology will include customized solutions capabilities, use renewable energy, and employ responsible waste management processes.

The factory will be completed by the fourth quarter of 2024 and is situated in the industrial zone PK24. The new Abidjan factory will enable effective end-to-end logistical management and steadily increase JB Cocoa’s annual bean processing capacity.

According to CEO Tey How Keong, the new plant will supplement the cocoa producer’s current Asian operations. Additionally, it will help Côte d’Ivoire reach its objective of locally processing all of its cocoa production by 2030.

The Ivory Coast’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Souleyman Diarrassouba, presided over the groundbreaking ceremony on June 23.

With the integration of JB Cocoa CI in 2019, JB Foods’ national expansion got underway.

The business’s current intentions to expand its source-based cocoa bean processing capabilities are consistent with its adaptable growth strategy to ride the wave of industry developments and solidify JB Cocoa’s position as a leading cocoa ingredient processor.

“We acknowledge that as the largest producer of cocoa in the world, Côte d’Ivoire not only benefits from the abundance of raw materials but also from a strong and skilled staff, as well as a sophisticated infrastructure that supports effective supply chain management,” adds Tey.

“As part of the Group’s strategy to develop the capability and momentum for sustainable growth, we have decided to increase our investment in Côte d’Ivoire and install cocoa processing facilities nearby.

Tey continues, “We think that this strategic step will strengthen our sustainability efforts through direct sourcing of cocoa at crop origins, providing greater traceability and directly affecting the quality and worth of our products and service. JB Cocoa began operations in Ivory Coast two years ago and has since scaled up its global sustainability initiatives, now assisting 7,000 farmers.