Opening ceremony at Puratos' Ivory Coast cocoa plant

Puratos, Groot-Bijgaarden, Belgium, recently inaugurated a cocoa collection and fermentation plant (CCFP) in San Pedro province in Ivory Coast. Created in partnership with French chocolate maker Cémoi, this confirms Puratos’ strong commitment to long-term sustainability of Ivorian cocoa.

The official opening ceremony of the CCFP took place on the site near Adjamené village. The ceremony was attended by around 400 farmers from the cooperative, Puratos, Cémoi teams and local dignitaries.

“Through this partnership of two family-owned companies, Cémoi and Puratos team up to reinforce the cocoa network in Ivory Coast,” says Patrick Poirrier, president of the CEMOI Group. “This commitment is in line with the Cémoi sustainability vision to promote a traceable aromatic cocoa with respect for the people who grow it and the environment where they live.”

Puratos' Ivory Coast cocoa plant

The first Puratos cocoa collection and fermentation plant was opened in November 2013 in Vietnam. Ivory Coast, the location for a second plant and the world's largest cocoa grower, will produce 1.55 million tons of cocoa in 2014-2015, according to the International Cocoa Organisation. In doing so, Puratos will help accelerate the development of the sustainable cocoa supply chain, encouraging direct contacts with farmers communities to ensure full traceability for better livelihoods.

“Puratos believes sustainability is a win-win relationship for every actor in the cocoa supply chain, from the farmers to the consumers,” says M. Eddy Van Belle, chairman of the board of Puratos Group. “Through better productivity, quality and returns to farmers, community development is improved, farmers are empowered and continue to grow cocoa, and chocolate can be enjoyed for many years to come. As a medium-sized user of cocoa beans and cocoa products from all over the world, Puratos Group is keen on securing future supplies of high-quality cocoa beans processed as part of a sustainable system.”

The CCFP is a community and post-harvest center. Farmers from the cooperative can bring their wet beans for fermentation, drying and bagging for export. By handling the post-harvest process, Puratos gains full control over the quality of the cocoa products to guarantee a constant taste profile of its chocolates solutions. In return, the farmers get a better income, as well as find support services offered by Puratos.