First fully organic cocoa-processing plant opens in Switzerland
PRONATEC Swiss Cocoa Production is an entirely organic production plant and will process approximately 15,000 tonnes of organic cocoa beans a year, sourced from smallholder cooperatives, carrying the ‘Made in Switzerland’ label.
It is also the first production plant in Switzerland to make all three semi-finished products: cocoa mass, cocoa butter and cocoa powder.
“More and more consumers are not only looking for sustainable products but wanting to know exactly where the ingredients come from. This production plant is our response to that trend,” says David Yersin, CEO and Swiss organic and Fairtrade pioneer.
Full traceability, transparent production
PRONATEC said having its own cocoa-processing plant means that, from procuring the beans from small-scale farmers, through fermentation and export to processing and sale of the finished product, all stages of the value-added chain are now in the company’s hands.
Thanks to its unique direct-sourcing system, every product can be traced back to the cocoa-growing smallholder. Furthermore, all the semi-finished cocoa products are processed in strictly separated batches: each consignment of beans is handled separately, with no mixing up with preceding or subsequent production runs. This enables the plant to meet the strict criteria for organic and Fairtrade certification, said a spokesperson,
The trend for stricter quality labels
“Demand from the market is confirming the trend towards stricter labels such as Bio Suisse and Demeter. Our products help to meet that need,” says Yersin.
PRONATEC Swiss Cocoa Production specialises in meeting the most exacting organic and fair trade certification standards and delivers to customers in the food and chocolate industries around the world. Its cocoa butter is also very much in demand from manufacturers of natural cosmetics. The FSSC 22000-certified plant, which has its own laboratory, guarantees the highest food safety and quality standards. In addition to its own beans, PRONATEC also processes its customers’ beans under contract (tolling).