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Cargill ready to process more of Ghana’s cocoa
Posted on: 06-Jul-2013         Source: Graphic
Cargill Ghana Limited, a major cocoa processing company situated in the freezones enclave, has indicated its intention to process more of the country’s cocoa on the grounds that it gets some more incentives from the government.

The company did not specify the kind of incentives it requires to do so but noted that the cost of processing the cocoa beans was expensive irrespective of their fine quality, and that unless it was able to get some more incentives it might not be financially possible to increase the quantity it processed.

The Operations Manager, Business Unit of Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate, Mr Wouter Evers, told the Daily Graphic exclusively that “we have the capacity to do more than we do now but Ghana’s cocoa is expensive, and to increase the quantum we process, we will require some incentives”.

This was when a delegation of some South African business people went on a tour of some companies within the freezones enclave in Tema under the guidance of the Ghana Freezones Board.

Mr Evers said presently the company processed between seven and eight per cent of the country’s cocoa but had the capacity to do more.

In the near future Ghana plans to process more than 60 per cent of the cocoa it exports to the rest of the world but the process has been slow towards the attainment of that goal.

Cargill has been sourcing cocoa from Ghana for over 40 years, and in 2007, constructed a state-of-the-art cocoa processing facility.

The facility which has been fully operational since 2008 directly employs around 200 permanent staff, 200 daily contractors and indirectly supports many more jobs.

The main activities of the company are cocoa origination, primary cocoa processing into products, including high quality cocoa liquor, butter, powders and animal feed (aqua feed).

In the area of investments, Cargill launched a four-year commitment to cocoa-farmer training aimed at reaching 15,000 farmers in 2012.

Cargill announced a three-year US $5 million commitment to support sustainable cocoa in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire in 2010.

Cargill officially opened its world-class cocoa processing facility with an annual processing capacity of 65,000 metric tonnes and a potential to expand to 120,000 metric tonnes in 2008.

Cargill started construction of its new US $100 million state-of-the-art cocoa processing facility in Tema in 2007.

On the impact of the recent electricity challenges on the company’s operations, Mr Evers said the situation had affected the company’s operational cost because of the high cost of running generator sets.

“We hear there are plans to increase the tariffs and that will be too much for us because already electricity cost is so high in Ghana.

The delegation also visited Gold Recovery Ghana Limited, a gold company that buys waste from gold mining areas, from which it recovers gold for sale.

They also visited Cosmo, a fish processing company under construction, and Crown Cans Ghana, a can manufacturing company, both within the freezones enclave.