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JB Foods to build new cocoa processing facility in Ivory Coast

Felicia Tan
Felicia Tan6/24/2022 08:34 AM GMT+08  • 3 min read
JB Foods to build new cocoa processing facility in Ivory Coast
The new plant will complement the cocoa producer’s existing factories in Asia, says CEO Tey How Keong.
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SGX-listed JB Foods is expanding its cocoa bean processing facilities in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast with a new plant.

The company’s expansion plans in the country will see an initial investment of about EUR 60 million ($87.8 million) and the creation of employment opportunities.

The new cocoa bean processing facility will adopt the latest technology to produce premium cocoa ingredient products — namely, cocoa mass, butter and powder, including customised solutions capabilities, using renewable energy and employing responsible waste management processes, in line with the group’s sustainability framework and environmental, social and governance (ESG) roadmap.

The plant is located in the industrial zone PK24 and is slated to be ready by the fourth quarter of 2024. When completed, the new Abidjan factory is expected to incrementally expand JB Cocoa’s annual bean processing capabilities, and facilitate efficient end-to-end logistical management.

The new plant will complement the cocoa producer’s existing factories in Asia, says CEO Tey How Keong. “It will also help Côte d’Ivoire achieve its goal of processing 100% of its cocoa production locally by 2030,” he adds.

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The ground-breaking ceremony was conducted on June 23 and graced by Ivory Coast’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Souleyman Diarrassouba.

JB Foods’ expansion to the country began with the incorporation of JB Cocoa CI in 2019.

The company’s present plans to develop cocoa bean processing capabilities at source is consistent with its adaptive strategy to grow in tandem with market trends and strengthen JB Cocoa’s market position as a major cocoa ingredient processor.

“We recognise that as the biggest cocoa producer in the world, Côte d’Ivoire is not only strategically positioned with the availability of raw materials, it also boosts of a robust and experienced workforce, and a developed infrastructure that facilitates efficient supply chain management,” says Tey.

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“Our decision to deepen our investment in Côte d’Ivoire and establish cocoa processing capabilities close to cocoa source is part of the Group’s direction to build capacity and momentum for sustainable growth.”

Tey adds: “We believe that this strategic move will enhance our sustainability efforts through direct cocoa sourcing at crop origins, thus enabling greater traceability, and directly impacting the quality and value of our products and service. Over the last two years, JB Cocoa has been scaling up our worldwide sustainability initiatives and started activities in Ivory Coast, currently supporting about 7,000 farmers.”

Shares in JB Foods closed 2.5 cents lower or 4.90% down at 48.5 cents on June 23.

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