Cargill has resumed cocoa and chocolate operations at its production facility in the Ivory Coast in West Africa, reports FoodNavigator.com. Since the EU lifted its restrictions on the ports and institutions, the main ports of Abidjan and San Pedro have begun operating again and exports of cocoa products and beans has resumed.
Jos de Loor, managing director of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate, said that cocoa bean purchases have already begun, and exports will commence in the next few days. "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, the U.S. Ghana and Brazil," he said.Meanwhile, Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) will source UTZ certified cocoa for the first time, after Nigeria was granted sustainable recognition for its beans. Nigerian cocoa farmers were awarded the country's first UTZ cocoa certification following a partnership between ADM and cocoa exporter Saro Agro-Allied which aimed to develop sustainable farming practices in the country. Working with Solidaridad, the UTZ initiative was set up by a number of big industry players, including Mars, Nestle, Heinz Benelux, Cargill, Ecom and Dutch retailer Ahold, along with a number of development and environmental organisations. "We are pleased that ADM can now offer UTZ cocoa products, and are also confident that over the coming years, more and more growers in Nigeria can enhance their farming practices, improve their livelihoods, and eventually achieve certification," said Scott Walker, managing director, ADM Cocoa.