Barry Callebaut Brasil S/A, a subsidiary of Barry Callebaut, and Bunge Alimentos, a subsidiary of Bunge Limited, have signed a distribution agreement making Bunge the exclusive distributor of Barry Callebaut’s artisanal chocolate products in the food service market in Brazil. The agreement also enables Barry Callebaut and Bunge to jointly produce a range of compound and chocolate products under Barry Callebaut’s Sicao and Bunge’s Gradina brands.

According to ECD Consulting, the Brazilian food service market is estimated to have a size of around 60,000 tons p.a. for chocolate and compound products. Barry Callebaut and Bunge hope to gain a share of about 10,000 tons within two to three years.

Additionally, in accordance with the distribution agreement with Bunge, Barry Callebaut is planning to construct a chocolate factory in the southeast region of Brazil. The company’s goal is for the factory’s annual production capacity to be around 20,000 tons and for the factory to be operational by the end of 2009, says Barry Callebaut’s ceo Patrick De Maeseneire.

“South America is the only significant chocolate market worldwide where we do not have a chocolate factory of our own yet,” De Maeseneire says. “Our renewed focus on our core business with industrial and artisanal customers allows us now to fully concentrate on expanding our business in South America. Bunge has the largest distribution network in Brazil. Every day, it serves about 25,000 points of sale and, therefore, is an excellent partner for us in the commercialization of our products that will be made in Brazil.”