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July 27, 2011

INDONESIA: Nestle, Petra Foods to join forces on sustainable cocoa

Nestle and Singapore-listed cocoa ingredients maker Petra Foods have agreed to work together on improving cocoa production in Indonesia.

By Dean Best

Nestle and Singapore-listed cocoa ingredients maker Petra Foods have agreed to work together on improving cocoa production in Indonesia.

Petra, which supplies Nestle with ingredients, said the two companies had signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on the sustainability of cocoa production and to promote traceability in the supply chain in the Indonesian region of South Sulawesi.

The two sides plan to train farmers in a bid to improve productivity and the quality of their cocoa beans.

Chocolate manufacturers are keen to work hard on improving yields amid volatile cocoa prices.

Petra CEO John Chuang emphasised the benefits that the co-operation with Nestle could have for local farmers.

“This is a union of two partners sharing the common vision of sustainability – enhancing the income of farmers by training them to improve yields and quality on their farms,” Chuang said.

Last year, Petra signed a deal with US peer Blommer Chocolate Co. and French chocolate maker Cemoi to improve cocoa production in Cote d’Ivoire.

The three companies formed a venture dubbed PACTS, or the Processors Alliance for Cocoa Traceability and Sustainability, to set up 30 fermentation centres in the African country.

Petra has seven cocoa processing sites across seven international markets, including Malaysia, Brazil, Mexico and Germany. The company’s other major customers include Cadbury, Mars Inc, Associated British Foods and Barry Callebaut.

The company also makes consumer products and has two chocolate confectionery plants in the Philippines and in Indonesia.

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