Swiss chocolate producer Barry Callebaut has admitted it would be open to sharing control of its German brand Sarotti.

The company, which supplies the world's larger consumer chocolate companies, said today (14 May) that it would be willing to team up with a partner on Sarotti.

"We have no plans whatsoever to sell the brand but if a good distribution partner comes along, we would talk to them - as long as we could keep the production (of Sarotti)," a spokesperson for Barry Callebaut told just-food.

The bulk of the Barry Callebaut business comes from supplying consumer chocolate giants like Hershey and Nestlé. The company does, however, own four brands - one for the US market and three in Europe.

The spokesperson admitted that Barry Callebaut's expertise is acting as a supplier. She said: "Our core competencies is in business-to-business production, not necessarily in consumer marketing."

However, the spokesperson insisted Barry Callebaut is committed to consumer chocolate despite it only forming a "small" part of its overall business.

"We can only offer a good service to our industry partners of we have the know-how for consumer chocolate and we are close to consumer trends. Our European consumer business is doing well."