Cargill has added a center of expertise to its cocoa processing facility in Wormer, the Netherlands and automated warehousing at the Port of Amsterdam following a €57m ($82m) investment.
The company said the upgrades will increase its capacity and allow it to better service customers.
Jos de Loor, managing director, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate told ConfectioneryNews.com: “This investment has enabled Cargill to open a new, fully automated cocoa powder warehouse in the port of Amsterdam with very high food quality and safety standards."
“The new warehouse will provide an efficient storage capacity, storing three times as much product per square metre as conventional warehouses in the port of Amsterdam.”
He added that improved transport and capacity planning would help cut CO2 emissions by 10% on existing transport and customer shipments.
The Wormer site processes cocoa liquor into cocoa butter and powder under the premium brand Gerkens and supplies customers worldwide.
De Loor refused to give precise figures on how the upgrade increased Cargill’s capacity, but added: “The cocoa powder production capacity will increase significantly in order to meet demand for high quality Dutch cocoa powders for the future.“
He also said the site could be extended further in the future.
Cargill’s new Center of Expertise at the Wormer plant will be home to a team of researchers who will work with customers to develop new products containing cocoa ingredients.
The Center includes an ISO 17025 accredited quality control laboratory, a pilot plant for product and process development, and an expanded expert taste panel to support sensorial evaluation for cocoa liquor and powder products.
“The Netherlands has been a focal point of Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business for many years,” said de Loor.
“Our new Center of Expertise will offer our customers even greater innovation and insight, while upgrades to our production and storage capacities will mean they will also benefit from higher quality and customer service,” he continued.