The business-to-business edible oils business of Bunge Limited, Bunge Loders Croklaan (BLC), announced Tuesday that its new shea butter processing plant in Tema, Ghana has officially opened.
“Our latest investment in Ghana plays a critical role in strengthening BLC’s global infrastructure for processing and supplying high quality shea products to our customers around the world, while also bolstering the entire ecosystem of regional crushers and local shea collectors in the West Africa region,” BLC President Aaron Buettner said in a release. “The facility allows us to meaningfully support and empower local shea communities through the transfer of knowledge of value adding processes and by investing in local skills development.”
The Tema facility is the first shea processing plant opened by BLC in Africa. It is the largest plant of its kind on the continent, according to the company.
“The facility is a fully automated solvent fractionation plant that processes raw shea butter made from locally collected and crushed shea nuts,” said Antoine Turpin, general manager, West Africa for BLC, in a statement. “Currently, the facility provides employment to 73 people from mostly the local community. Its strategic location not only allows for a more efficient production process, it also delivers on BLC’s commitment to building a more sustainable supply chain for shea.”
BLC’s new plant produces shea olein and shea stearin. The company’s plants in Europe, North America, and Malaysia further process shea stearin into ingredients for food and non-food applications, including Cocoa Butter Equivalents (CBEs).