The company opened the factory at the beginning of the month to help leverage the sizeable American market and its huge potential to develop both semi-finished and finished products cocoa products for the rest of the world.
The project is the largest food and beverage investment by an Africa-based company in US history, and the largest Ghana foreign direct investment ever in Wisconsin.
“Niche Cocoa’s historic investment in Wisconsin is an unmistakable signal to other companies across Africa and around the world — the United States is open for business,” said Marisa Lago, the U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.
Based in Tema, Ghana, Niche Cocoa is the largest cocoa processor in the country, the world’s second-largest cocoa producer after Cote d’Ivoire. The company’s North American expansion pioneers a change in the direction of African investment and showcases the rapid growth in African businesses, specifically in Ghana.
“Niche Cocoa Industries Limited (Niche) has established itself as a formidable business in Ghana and with some international customers mainly from extracting high-quality semi-finished products from the cocoa bean,” said Niche founder Edmund Poku.
“The value within the supply chain comes from adding more value upstream and given the market dynamics, most of those big markets are outside of the African continent. Niche is proud of not only the quality of the product it has delivered but also of the flavour and taste of the Ghanaian cocoa bean which is the world’s most premium bean. The US became a natural choice for expansion, given the market size and potential, to develop both semi-finished products and also selling more products up the value chain such as chocolates.”
Niche Cocoa is partnering with The Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company, a Milwaukee-based company that pioneered production of world-class, single-origin, bean-to-bar chocolate manufactured in Ghana.
“Together, we’re creating cocoa products and compelling employment in both the US, and Ghana,” said Omahene’s founder, Steve Wallace.
“We’re proving that a country’s competitive advantages, paired with strategic global partnerships, lead to winning outcomes in unexpected places. Together, Omanhene and Niche demonstrate the promise of a new globalism where international trade creates jobs and value instead of exploiting vulnerabilities.”
State Governor Tony Evers said: “I welcome their investment in our state and the diversity their business adds to our economy.”