The expansion forms part of the company's strategy of taking advantage of the chocolate industry's increased demands for outsourced production and follows supply deals with Nestle and other confectionery giants. In April, the company's chief executive officer Patrick De Maeseneire said that the new outsourcing projects are giving Barry Callebaut confidence that it will achieve its three-year financial targets for the current financial year. "Barry Callebaut has won three large supply contracts in the last six months, with Nestle, Hershey and Cadbury," De Maeseneire said today. "To respond to this increased demand for cocoa products we need to secure our cocoa bean supply, this is why we are expanding our operations in Ivory Coast." The company has also announced it will increase the amount of beans it will source directly from farmers and cooperatives. The company wants to cater for the rising consumer demand for products labelled with country of origin. Barry Callebaut claims the move would provide the company with better quality cocoa beans, which in turn will result in better tasting chocolate products. The announcement comes a month after Global Witness, a UK-based pressure group, campaigned against companies that buy cocoa from the Ivory Coast, accusing the industry of funding conflict and civil unrest. Barry Callebaut was one of the companies named in the report, along with Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill. Global Witness said the revenues from Ivory Coast's largest industry provide massive revenues for the warring government and the rebel group Forces Nouvelles (FN). De Maeseneire claimed in February that international companies play a vital role in "contributing to Africa's economic development". The company is also part of the World Cocoa Foundation, along with ADM and Cargill, to encourage sustainable cocoa production in West Africa and to help 150,000 farmers and their families over the next five years. Barry Callebaut also said today it will support the construction of a medical village in Goh, where it has a production facility, in order to support 18,000 local cocoa farmers and their families. The company currently has four factories in Ivory Coast. The Ivory Coast is the world's biggest producer of cocoa, accounting for 40 per cent of world production in 2006. Cocoa is the main economic resource of the country, representing on average 35 per cent of the total exports value. Global Witness reports that more than 90 per cent of Ivorian cocoa is exported to Europe and North America, with 60.1 per cent of exports going to the EU in the growing season 2005 - 2006.