Cargill has announced a $13 million allocation for the expansion of its cocoa processing site in Tema to increase production capacity by 20%.
The company has also committed $3.4 million to community sustainability programs and cocoa traceability efforts.
These programs will enhance the safety and wellbeing of children and families in cocoa farming areas and provide a more transparent, traceable cocoa supply chain for customers and consumers.
This announcement was made by David MacLennan, the Chief Executive Officer of Cargill during a dinner hosted by the U.S Ambassador to Ghana, Stephanie Sullivan, where the vice president Dr Mahamudu Bawumia was the special guest.
Mr MacLennan is on an industrial visit to Ghana to afford Cargill the opportunity to deepen its relationship with the government of Ghana and stakeholders in the cocoa sector.
The itinerary of his visit comprised a tour of the Cargill cocoa processing site, where Mr MacLennan laid the first stone to symbolise the expansion works and the Akodzo Basic School in Tema, one of the educational projects under the Cargill Cocoa Promise, which is the company’s corporate commitment to improving the livelihoods in communities where they operate.
According to the Managing Director of Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business in Ghana, Aedo van der Weij, says the company wants to meet customer demand, and continuously work with the government and other stakeholders to create economic opportunities and build sustainable local businesses.
“The $13 million investment to expand Cargill’s cocoa processing site in Tema will create many indirect jobs, from labourers to university-educated positions. Building on the success of the ‘Good taste of Ghana’ when we started producing cocoa powder in the country in 2008, the expansion of Tema is needed to meet the customer demand for high-value cocoa powder. Working directly with the Ghanaian government and other stakeholders, we are committed to economic growth, building sustainable local businesses and diversifying sources of income for those who live here.”
Investing in local communities, sustainability
Besides the site investment, Cargill will invest $3.4 million over the next three years in Ghanaian community projects and supply chain traceability, with a focus on creating stronger, more resilient cocoa farming communities.
These projects are part of the Cargill Cocoa Promise: the company’s corporate commitment to improving the lives of cocoa farmers and their communities and would involve partnership with CARE to strengthen community governance and improve nutrition in cocoa-growing communities.
It will also involve the building of six new schools and implementing a Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS) with the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) to include 8,000 farmers and their families.
Vice President Bawumia welcomes investments
In a brief remark, Vice President, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia who was the special guest at the dinner event said he is pleased to note these new initiatives by Cargill as this is in line with government’s agenda for the economy.
“This is exactly what we are looking for with our economic program; to have more private sector players expand industrialization efforts and create jobs for our youth.”
Building a more transparent cocoa sector
Global cocoa demand keeps growing and Cargill says it is committed to delivering secure, sustainable and innovative cocoa and chocolate products.
In Ghana, where Cargill has already achieved 100% traceability in its supply chain from farm to factory using high-end technologies, the company will continue to invest in GPS polygon mapping of new farms that have recently joined the Cargill Cocoa Promise program and are delivering cocoa through its Licensed Buying Company – Cargill Kokoo Sourcing Ltd.