Agricultural giant Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) announced today that it is to build a new cocoa processing facility in Ghana, in a move expected to diversify and expand the firm's global cocoa origination and processing operations into a strategically important location.
The new processing plant, located in Kumasi, Ghana, will also allow the firm to offer cocoa products from a single source origin, which ADM claims will bring value to its customer base.
The company said its state-of-the-art facility will use the latest technology in cocoa bean processing. This, it said, will allow it to assure the high quality of its cocoa products as it responds to growing global demand.
"This investment demonstrates ADM's commitment to expand our premier position in the agricultural processing value chain. Our strategy includes the geographic expansion of our food processing and distribution network," said Mark Bemis, president, ADM Cocoa.
"It also represents Ghana's growing importance in the cocoa processing value chain. By locating the plant in Kumasi, we will be processing cocoa closer to the farmers and providing local jobs to the community," he said in a statement issued today.
"In addition, it fits securely within the Ghanaian government's strategic and economic objectives of adding value to its cocoa production."
Construction of the plant, which is pending final permitting approvals, is set to begin this year.
Last year, ADM further solidified its position in the global cocoa market with the joint acquisition of the Cameroon cocoa processor Usicam, together with Singapore-based cocoa bean supplier Olam.
The new business, which granted both firms greater economy of scale in the African market, was expected to become one of the country's biggest plants for drying, cleaning and grading cocoa beans.
Last year also marked ADM's takeover of Classic Couverture, a UK chocolate plant. The firm also announced in 2006 the construction of a new US cocoa processing facility. Due for completion this year, the new facility is to be located in Hazelton, Pennsylvania, and was designed to meet growing demand for the firm's cocoa ingredients.