Hershey, Barry Callebaut form innovation partnership

The Hershey Company, maker of consumer chocolate and confectionery products, and Barry Callebaut, a Switzerland-based maker of cocoa, industrial chocolate and confectionery products, are partnering to accelerate long-term growth in the global chocolate market.

The companies said they will partner on a wide range of research and development activities with a focus on driving innovation in new chocolate taste experiences, premium chocolate, health and wellness, ingredient research and optimization.

Under the agreement, Barry Callebaut will construct and operate a facility to provide chocolate for Hershey's new plant in Monterrey, Mexico. Barry Callebaut will also lease a portion of Hershey's Robinson, Ill., plant and operate chocolate-making equipment at the facility. The partnership includes a global agreement under which Barry Callebaut will supply Hershey with a minimum of 80,000 tonnes per year of chocolate and chocolate products.

The agreement is said to significantly increase Barry Callebaut's production capacity in the Americas. During the next three years, production capacities will increase by 130,000 tonnes per year, with a portion of this production dedicated to supplying Hershey. The total investment by Barry Callebaut will amount to $50 million.

The two companies also will work together on efforts aimed at building a sustainable cocoa supply, including the World Cocoa Foundation's Sustainable Tree Crops Program, the International Cocoa Initiative Foundation and industry efforts to implement a certification system in West Africa. Hershey will also participate in Barry Callebaut's proprietary corporate social responsibility and sustainable cocoa-bean sourcing programs.

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