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Cargill makes foray into chocolate business in India

New Delhi, Jun 23 (PTI) US-based food major Cargill on Tuesday announced foray into the chocolate business in India and said it has tied up with a local manufacturer in the western region to produce 10,000 tonnes annually.

Cargill started operations in India in 1987. It has businesses in refined oils, food ingredients, grain and oilseeds, cotton, animal nutrition, bio-industrial and trade structured finance.

'Consumer demand for chocolate products continues to grow steadily in the Asian market. To help the food industry meet this growing demand, Cargill is partnering with a local manufacturer in western India, to launch its first chocolate manufacturing operation in Asia,' Cargill said in a statement.

The facility is expected to begin operating in mid-2021 and will initially produce 10,000 tonnes of chocolate compounds, it added.

The chocolate market in India is growing 13-14 per cent annually, fastest in the world, Cargill said, justifying the reason behind its entry into this segment.

Cargill said it will bring premium chocolate compound products to the Indian market faster, through this local manufacturer.

This association will also create 100 jobs locally and will cater to bakery, ice cream and confectionery customers, the statement said.

'India is a key growth market for Cargill. This new partnership reinforces our commitment to increase our regional footprint and capabilities in Asia to better support the needs of our local Indian customers as well as multi-nationals customers in the region,' said Francesca Kleemans, managing director of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate Asia-Pacific.

Cargill established its cocoa presence in Asia in 1995 in Makassar, Indonesia, with a team designated to support trading and supply management of cocoa to Cargill processing plants in Europe and Brazil.

In 2014, Cargill opened a cocoa processing plant in Gresik, Indonesia, to make premium Gerkens® cocoa products.

With the addition of the new manufacturing plant in India, Cargill said it plans to scale up operational capabilities quickly to support future growth for our customers locally, regionally and globally.

Cargill has offices in 70 countries with 1,60,000 employees.

Cargill in India markets leading consumer brands of edible oils such as Nature Fresh, Gemini, Sweekar, Leonardo Olive Oil, Rath and Sunflower brand of hydrogenated fats.

It also markets wheat flour under the Nature Fresh brand name.

The animal nutrition business of Cargill provides animal feed and premix and nutrition for aqua, dairy and poultry.

Overall, Cargill India employs over 4,000 employees. PTI MJH HRS