A groundbreaking ceremony signalled the Group’s intent for the foundation of future growth in its cocoa value chain in the Central American country, where, upon completion, the site will dry, clean and store cocoa beans prepared for export to its cocoa and chocolate factories in the North America, Canada, Asia and Europe.
The site will also host its Ecuador offices and be the headquarters for more than 40 employees.
“This project represents a significant investment in Ecuador and shows our commitment to further develop the value chain of this fast-growing cocoa producing country,” Barry Callebaut said.
The global leader in the cocoa and chocolate supply industry has had a presence in Ecuador since 2007.
Steven Retzlaff, President, Barry Callebaut Global Cocoa, said: “With this state-of-the-art infrastructure, we are making a long-term commitment to the country and its cocoa producing sector. Our team is looking forward to moving into the new premises, further developing business relations with existing and new partners and enhancing our sustainability programs with the Ecuadorian cocoa farmers.”
Ecuador is well known for the cultivation of ‘Cacao Nacional’, also known as Arriba, a flowery-fruity flavored variety of cocoa. The cultivation of the more recent, highly productive, CCN51 variety has increased significantly in recent years, helping to establish the country as the third largest cocoa producer in the world after Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire.
Angela Gubser, Managing Director, Barry Callebaut Ecuado, said: “At Barry Callebaut, we have been sourcing cocoa from Ecuador since our foundation in 1996. This cocoa is used in a wide range of our products, including the well-loved and special single origin couvertures Carma Milk Ecuador, Callebaut Origine Ecuador and Cacao Barry Équateur.”