The cash will be used to boost product lines at Cargill’s sites in Lichtenrade and Reinickendorf in Berlin, which it acquired following its takeover of Schwartauer Werke Kakao Verarbeitung Berlin (KVB) in May last year
The move is expected to increase production capacity and help Cargill capitalise on strong customer demand in Eastern Europe.
Cargill currently has cocoa and chocolate facilities in Western Europe, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Brazil, Canada and the USA. The company said the current investment would expand its market reach further.
Jos De Loor, managing director for Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate told ConfectioneryNews.com: “These upgrades will strengthen our ability to serve the needs of our customers and cater to our customers’ growth particularly in Germany and Eastern Europe”
“By upgrading, expanding and integrating these two production sites into our wider cocoa and chocolate network, we are better placed to serve our customers and seamlessly provide them with the best quality product from the most appropriate site,” he continued.
When KVB owned the facilities in May last year, its two plants had a capacity of over 75,000 tonnes of chocolate per year and employed around 180 people.
Once upgraded, the two chocolate facilities will produce products in the bakery, confectionery and ice-cream categories with chocolate, cocoa powder, cocoa liquor and cocoa butter.
Asked by how much this would boost volumes, DeLoor said: "We will increase theoretical capacity of liquor and chocolate production to cater for the growth our customers expect."
He added that a chunk of the money would be invested in food safety to improve quality and consistency of the company’s product offering.
Work will begin on the Reinickendorf site this spring.
Germany, Europe’s largest chocolate market, seems to be proving fertile ground for chocolate producers.
In April last year, Cargill’s competitor ADM Cocoa opened a new technical centre in the country where its customers could experiment with flavour, mouthfeel and shelf-life of their chocolate-containing products.