Since 2015, the Cémoi factory, located in the industrial zone of Yopougon, in Abidjan, has been producing chocolate bars from cocoa harvested in the country. While all the behemoths in the sector (Cargill, Barry Callebaut, Olam, etc.) are present in Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s largest producer of beans, only two players have crossed the threshold of making finished products locally: the French chocolate maker, bought in July 2021 by the Belgian group Sweet Products, and the subsidiary of the Ivorian group Satoci, Professional Food Industry (PFI).
Cocoa: Alex Assanvo, link between Abidjan and Accra
Admittedly, the volumes are modest given that the country only processes (mainly at the first stage of crushing) a third of its annual production of 2 million tonnes. However, the government recalled in June its ambition to achieve at least 50% transformation by 2025. In this context, can the Cémoi experience serve as a benchmark? If it is encouraging, it also testifies to the challenges facing a sector today forced to reform in order to be more sustainable, better withstand variations in world prices of raw materials and be more profitable for producers.
We are a small player, but we control the entire value chain