PRONATEC's organic cocoa processing plant in Beringen, Switzerland is now producing semi-finished cocoa products.

PRONATEC's facility will process around 15,000 tonnes of organic cocoa beans a year, sourced from smallholder cooperatives. It will make all three semi-finished products: cocoa mass, cocoa butter and cocoa powder.

“More and more consumers are not only looking for sustainable products but wanting to know exactly where the ingredients come from," said PRONATEC CEO David Yersin. "This production plant is our response to that trend."

With its own cocoa processing plant, PRONATEC controls all stages of the value-added chain, from procuring the beans from small-scale farmers, through fermentation and export, to processing and sale of the finished product. Through the company's direct-sourcing system, every product can be traced back to the cocoa-growing smallholder.

Furthermore, all semi-finished cocoa products are processed in strictly separated batches. Each consignment of beans is handled separately, with no mixing up with preceding or subsequent production runs. This enables the plant to meet the strict criteria for organic and fair trade certification.

“Demand from the market is confirming the trend towards stricter labels such as Bio Suisse and Demeter," Yersin said. "Our products help to meet that need. PRONATEC Swiss cocoa production specializes in meeting the most exacting organic and fair trade certification standards and delivers to customers in the food and chocolate industries around the world. Its cocoa butter is also very much in demand from manufacturers of natural cosmetics. The FSSC 22000-certified plant, which has its own laboratory, guarantees the highest food safety and quality standards. In addition to its own beans, PRONATEC also processes its customers’ beans under contract (tolling)."