Archer Daniels Midland is the world’s second biggest cocoa producer. It has had an office in Ghana since 2005 and in West Africa since 1997, with processing facilities and other activities in the Ivory Coast and a joint venture in Cameroon.
The plan to build a new processing facility in Kumasi, Ghana, was announced in 2007. Mark Bemis, president of cocoa, milling and financial services, said then that the move was part of a plan to be able to provide more cocoa products from one place.
The completion of the plant, which swung into operation in July, has been welcomed by the Ghanaian Cocoa Board. Chief executive Tony Fofie said: “This new plant will not only help Ghana maintain its reputation as a producer of premium quality cocoa but will also create new opportunities for Ghanaian cocoa farmers.”
Ghana is one of the key cocoa growing countries in the world, producing 690,000 tons of cocoa beans last year. Neighboring Ivory Coast produced 1.3 million tons.
The new plant in Kumasi processes beans into cocoa liquor for use in chocolate. The site covers some 75,000 square meters and comprises a bean warehouse, a processing plant and a finished goods warehouse. The capacity of the site has not been announced.
The facility’s completion follows the opening of another site in ADM’s global cocoa set up in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. This project began in 2006 in a bid to expand and cater to growing demand for cocoa and chocolate materials from manufacturers. Close to the East Coast customer base and inbound raw-material supplies, this site is ADM’s sixth on its home turf.
Other big news from ADM’s cocoa business this year is the acquisition of Germany-based Schokinag, in order to extend its European presence.
John Rice, ADM executive vice president commercial and production, said the Ghana site and the acquisition “extend our value-added business and global operations to support our customers’ innovation and growth”.
Big players in Ghana
Last November Cargill began production at its $100m processing facility in Tema, Ghana, which has the capacity to turn 65,000 tonnes of cocoa beans per annum into high quality cocoa liquor, butter and powders. However, it has the potential to expand capacity to 120,000 tons per annum.
Ghana's Cocoa Processing Company (CPC) said in April that it had more than doubled its bean processing capacity to 64,500 tonnes a year, after completing a five-year rehabilitation and expansion program.