Singapore-listed cocoa ingredients group Petra Foods has joined forces with US peer Blommer Chocolate Co. and French chocolate maker Cemoi to form a venture in the Ivory Coast.

The venture, named PACTS, or the Processors Alliance for Cocoa Traceability and Sustainability, will ferment cocoa beans in the African country.

The three companies plan to spend EUR2.3m (US$2.8m) to set up 30 fermentation centres, which will work with 50 farmer co-ops in the Ivory Coast.

The country is the world’s largest producer of cocoa beans and Petra Foods said the venture wanted to “improve efficiencies and increase yields” among farmers.

CEO John Chuang added: “For Petra Foods, it has always been our goal to grow the group in a sustainable and responsible manner through all our actions and through the initiatives that we undertake. This joint venture is a prime example of one of these initiatives.”

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