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Asia Pacific: Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam opens two facilities, holds discussion in Vietnam for local cocoa industry

Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam inaugurated its Cocoa Collection and Fermentation Plant in Ben Tre province in Vietnam on November 14, 2013.

This plant also includes a Cocoa Development Center that was opened in collaboration with Mars Group.

The official opening ceremony of the two facilities with Mars Group took place at the Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam site on Giao Long Industrial Zone in Ben Tre province, Vietnam.

“The ‘beans to bar’ concept will be the game changer to the cocoa industry in Vietnam. The opening of the fermentation plant is one of the last steps taken in the region to achieve a full vertical integration from cocoa beans to chocolate bar,” says Gricha Safarian, MD of Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam.

Processing cocoa pods locally

The CCFP is designed as a post-harvest center, where local farmers can bring their cocoa pods for fermentation, drying and bagging for export.

By handling the post-harvest process, Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam gains full control over the quality of the cocoa products.

In return, farmers can enjoy a better price for their pods, as well as find support services offered by the CDC.

In October 2013, Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam received an International Cocoa Award at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris (France) as part of the “Cocoa of Excellence” program for its quality cocoa beans.

Promoting sustainable cocoa farming

Meanwhile, the CDC is established in collaboration with Mars Group as a centralized demonstration and training center for sustainable cocoa farming.

The center aims to showcase best practices, conduct applied research and offer training to farmers and other stakeholders.

It will allow farmers to see what a successful cocoa farm should look like.

The CDC is a model for sustainable cocoa farming staffed by expert agronomists with strong organizational, technical and communication skills.

The opening of the CDC is supported by the “Lucky Mekong Cocoa Programme”, which aims to attract local farmers to the center and to promote the cultivation of cocoa in the Mekong Delta.

Round table discussion on future of Vietnam’s cocoa industry

At the same time, Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam hosted a round table discussion with key stakeholders from all parts of the supply chain – from government bodies, NGOs and farmers to cocoa players, universities and confectioners’ businesses.

Entitled “Accelerating the future of Vietnam cocoa”, the discussion provided a platform for participants to share their experiences, ideas and knowledge, and to confirm the commitments from all stakeholders in the supply chain to actively support the acceleration of the cocoa industry in Vietnam.