SunOpta Inc. is expanding its integrated processing capabilities with a new value-added organic and specialty cocoa facility located in Middenmeer, The Netherlands. To be operated as the Crown of Holland, the facility will process internationally-sourced cocoa beans into cocoa liquor, butter, and powder, and will provide needed capacity to accommodate the company’s growing organic and specialty cocoa business that is currently processed by third parties.
The facility is being built using environmentally-friendly building materials and technologies and will process organic and specialty cocoa products. When commissioned, it is expected that the facility will have an annual processing capacity of approximately 9,000 metric tons of raw cocoa. Testing and commissioning of the new facility is expected to begin in the second half of 2013, with the planned transfer of the company’s existing cocoa volume by July 2013. With its own processing capabilities in place, the company plans on expanding its organic and specialty cocoa business and serving the specialty chocolate industry with certified and specialty cocoa products.
“Vertically integrating into our own dedicated cocoa facility will allow us to have increased control over our business and expand our margins, especially as we increase throughput. Organic and specialty cocoa products remain a key category for the International Foods Group, and we anticipate above average growth prospects in this segment of the market,” said Gerard Versteegh, President of the International Foods Group.