Cargill resumes cocoa, chocolate operations at Ivory Coast production facility; cocoa bean purchases, exports of products and beans to resume in next few days as company's managing director says country is on road to recovery

MINNEAPOLIS , May 18, 2011 (press release) – Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate operations at its production facility in Côte d'Ivoire have now resumed. Cocoa bean purchases have also recommenced, and exports of products and beans will also resume in the next few days.

The company’s farmer training programme for certified sustainable cocoa is planned to resume in June.

Jos de Loor, Managing Director Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, said: “The situation is continuing to improve with visible and practical signs that the country is on the road to recovery following the months of instability and uncertainty after the Presidential elections. President Ouattarra and his government are now taking steps to restore stability and security across the country.”

“We have inspected and cleaned our processing facility and there is no damage to the buildings or installations. Cocoa beans stored at our warehouses in Côte d’Ivoire were cleaned and dried in preparation for export and have been kept under good conditions to maintain their quality.”

Since the EU lifted its restrictions on the ports and institutions in Côte d'Ivoire, the main ports of Abidjan and San Pedro have begun operating again with exports of products and beans resuming. Banks have re-opened and the local banking system is making good progress towards returning to normal.

“We are relieved that all our 460 employees have remained unharmed during the crisis. Nonetheless, they have been through a very stressful period and we are giving as much support as we can to them”, said de Loor.

“Our overall stock and production are sufficient to meet our 2011 commitments, with the combination of a good start to the Ivorian season and exports from other origin countries contributing to sufficient bean supply for Cargill’s plants in Europe, United States, Ghana and Brazil”, concluded de Loor.

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About Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate

Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate offers the food industry a wide range of both standard and customised cocoa and chocolate ingredients to be used in delicious bakery, confectionery, and dairy applications.

As a leading provider of high quality chocolate and cocoa offerings across Europe and all over the world, the company’s extensive product range includes premium Gerkens® cocoa powders, chocolate, including Wilbur®, Peter’s®, Veliche® coatings, fillings, cocoa liquors and cocoa butters. With years of experience in technical food expertise Cargill supports its customers in new recipes and new product development.

Our facilities in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Germany, Ghana, the Netherlands, UK and the USA are fully dedicated to produce in accordance with the highest food safety standards.

To secure a good quality and sustainable supply of cocoa beans we have our own cocoa bean sourcing operations for buying, handling and/or exporting of cocoa beans in Brazil, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia and Vietnam. Presence in all the leading producing countries allows Cargill to oversee the supply chain from beans at origin to cocoa and chocolate products on our customers’ doorstep. In addition, extensive market research and analysis proves to be a source of valuable information to our customers.

Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 131,000 people in 66 countries.

Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit www.cargill.com

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