Origin Processing

Going forward, Kleemans said Cargill sees opportunity in processing within producer countries, such as Ghana. The company is looking to increase its grinding capacity by an average of 2-3 percent per year, in step with global growth.

“We’re looking at further growth and Africa is on our radar from a processing growth perspective,” Kleemans said, noting that Cargill currently grinds about 800,000 tonnes of cocoa per year.

Globally, processing in producer countries is set to hit two million tonnes this year, Kleemans said, amounting to about 46 percent of grinding.

“These are records and the percentage of grinding (in producer countries) has been growing steadily,” she said. “This is an ongoing trend, and as Cargill we want to continue playing an ongoing role in that.”

Kleemans noted that expanding processing in origin countries allowed the likes of Ghana and Ivory Coast to gain additional skills and diversify their incomes. “Through diversification, we can then mitigate the volatility that exists in our market,” she said.

However, Cargill maintains higher cocoa yields on less land is key to improving farmer incomes; and Kleemans noted tackling illegal encroachment into forests must be halted to curb oversupply.