“The expansion of our operations in Singapore marks an increased investment in Asia, which is an important market for our cocoa business,” said Yeong Chye, managing director of ADM Cocoa Asia.
“The goal of the project is to increase efficiency and production capacity to support ADM Cocoa’s strategy of expanding cocoa powder volumes and becoming the preferred global provider of cocoa and chocolate solutions.”
Chye told ConfectioneryNews.com that much of this growth in demand in Asia is being fuelled by emerging markets.
“Consumption growth is stronger in emerging markets like China, India, Indonesia and the Philippines than mature markets like Japan and Australia,” he said. “Cocoa powder is widely used in most product applications such as bakery, beverage, ice cream and chocolate, which helps to drive demand for powder in the region.”
He added: “Singapore’s proximity to cocoa origination countries in Asia, as well as its importance to the international business community, allow ADM to connect regionally sourced cocoa with global markets. Additionally, the country’s central location in the region facilitates direct collaboration between our team of R&D experts at the Singapore facility and our Asian and international customers.”
Employing 300 people, ADM’s Singapore cocoa processing plant processes cocoa beans into semi-finished products such as cocoa butter, cocoa liquor and cocoa powder. These products are sold and distributed under the deZaan brand name through the company’s local and global sales networks.
While ADM refused to disclose exact production capacities, it said the expansion would involve “adding and upgrading processing equipment in order to increase productivity and production capacity”.
“The expansion at our Singapore facility will update existing equipment and install new equipment to increase capacity and improve production efficiencies. The project will not increase production lines or affect the size of the facility,” said Chye.
Since 2010, the facility in Singapore has also been home to ADM’s Cocoa Advantage Centre, a technical and R&D resource where customers can collaborate directly with ADM experts on product formulations and applications.
The equipment upgrades will begin early next year and are expected to be completed in autumn 2012.