Cargill said it will begin cocoa processing tests at its cocoa processing plant in Gresik, in the East-Java region of Indonesia by end of May 2014, the company announced at the Indonesia International Cocoa Conference held recently in Bali, Indonesia.
It says the construction of the plant is now nearing completion and is on target to open later this year.
The plant will be processing approximately 70,000 metric tons of cocoa beans into powder, butter and liquor for companies in Indonesia and other Asian countries.
The Gresik facility will be Cargill’s first cocoa processing plant in Asia, demonstrating the company’s commitment to develop and grow Indonesia’s cocoa industry, while also strengthening the company’s cocoa sourcing network and cocoa sustainability activities in Indonesia.
The cocoa beans to be processed at the plant will be supplied primarily from Sulawesi, where cocoa farming is the principal income for the locals and where Cargill has been sourcing cocoa since 1995.
The new plant will create about 200 jobs in Indonesia, as well as additional positions in its existing research and development application center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.