Swiss cocoa processing and chocolate production firm Barry Callebaut recently held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction on its new cocoa facility in Durán, Ecuador.
The new plant will focus on drying, cleaning, and storage of cocoa beans for export to the company’s cocoa and chocolate facilities in the US, Canada, Asia and Europe. Barry Callebaut also plans to house its Ecuador offices at the site. More than 40 workers will occupy the facility.
“As a global leader in the cocoa and chocolate industry, we are excited about the opportunities associated with Ecuador cocoa bean production as well as its great growth potential,” Steven Retzlaff, president, Global Cocoa, said in a company release. “We are proud to continue investing in a country where we have been present since 2007.”
Ecuador is known for “Cacao Nacional,” or Arriba, a local variety of cocoa that has fruity and flowery flavors. The country has become the world’s third largest producer of cocoa in recent years, in part due to the introduction of the highly productive variety , CCN51.
“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 farmers,” said Barry Callebaut Managing Director of Ecuador Angela Gubser in a statement.
Barry Callebaut started sourcing cocoa from Ecuador in 1996.