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Callebaut invited ten customers to visit Ghana

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May 02, 2012

Wieze/Belgium, May 2nd 2012 – From the 23rd until the 27th of April, Callebaut, the preferred chocolate partner for craftsmen all over the world, invited 10 customers who won its online 100 years competition, to visit Ghana, the second largest cocoa producer in the world. Coming from Australia, Brazil, The Netherlands, Poland and United Kingdom, they had the privilege to experience the world of cocoa and discover the story behind their preferred Callebaut chocolate.

Discovering the roots of chocolate

After two hours and a half in a 4 x 4, driving along Ghanaian roads in the mountains, the group stopped at the first cocoa plantation. Mr Kofi Addo, Logistics manager at Barry Callebaut Ghana, explained the whole cocoa growing process, from trees to flowers and pods. In the middle of nature, surrounded by cocoa trees, customers had the chance to taste a fresh cocoa pod and to appreciate its sweet and specific notes.

Then the group joined a buying center where cocoa beans are stocked and sold. This particular warehouse, dedicated to organic cocoa, is the place where cocoa beans are quality controlled in terms of drying and colour aspects.

Continuing along the roads, the group arrived at the CRIG (Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana). The CRIG carries out research into problems relating to the production of cocoa. It also provides information and advice on all matters relating to the production of the crops. After several years, the researchers succeeded in getting a cocoa tree which needs fewer years to grow and produce cocoa pods. For example, an “Amelonado” cocoa type needs 80 years to produce cocoa pods, after being planted. Now, thanks to the CRIG researches and efforts, a “Hybrid” type only needs around 2 years. The customers were also very impressed about the usage of cocoa, in different applications: body lotion, soap, alcohol…After the cultivation, the CRIG representative insisted on the fermentation process. This key step defines the aromas of cocoa and therefore the specificity of the chocolate.

Callebaut invited ten customers to visit Ghana

At Odaho School

The second day focused on Corporate Social Responsibility programmes achieved by Barry Callebaut in Ghana. The Callebaut customers assisted to the inauguration of the new school block (3 classrooms + teacher offices) built by Barry Callebaut at Odaho Junior Secondary School. Located in Ashanti region, the community welcomed the group and many officials like Mr Stephen Adu, Director of basic Education in Ghana, and Mr Loïc Biardeau, Managing Director of Barry Callebaut Ghana. The children offered a beautiful and touching show, with traditional dance and poetry. Following speeches and prayers, all guests were invited to visit the new school, surrounded by enthusiastic children.

Ghana and its history

The following part of the journey brought our Callebaut customers to Elmina, located on the coast, where they discovered the ancient history of the country and its environment. A canopy walk in Kakum National Park let them admire the lushness of the tropical forest.

The day ended with the visit of Elmina slave castle, a real landmark left by Europeans. Elmina was first a Portuguese colony. The castle was built in 1482 and had two objectives: to treat slaves and to give a place to missionaries to spread Christianism in Africa. Then, Elmina became Dutch, followed by the British in 1872, who used the castle for administration. Finally, in 1948, it became a police training school.

Back to cocoa process

This exciting trip ended with the visit of the Cocoa Marketing Company (CMC) in Tema, where the group learnt how their preferred ingredient is controlled. They were amazed by the number of times the quality is checked. Not only the bags but also the beans themselves are cut to be sure that the crop is good and can become high quality chocolate.

Finally, Mrs Edna Charles and Mrs Mary Williams Podger welcomed our customers at Barry Callebaut Ghana. To understand the whole cocoa production process, Mrs Charity Sackitey, Plant Manager, guided the group through the factory built in 2001. They could appreciate the way cocoa beans are processed and understand the first step of the production of their Callebaut chocolate they are used to work with.

This Ghana Trip was a unique opportunity for our customers, sharing the same passion for chocolate. It helped them discover the fascinating story behind the chocolate they use. They also understood better the importance of sustainability and no doubt that the new “Growing great chocolate” campaign by Callebaut will fit their expectations.

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About Callebaut® (www.callebaut.com):

For 100 years, Callebaut® has been making chocolate in the heart of Belgium and is still one of the rare chocolate makers to select, roast and grind cacao beans into its own secret and exclusive cocoa mass – the most important ingredient for chocolate couvertures. Callebaut® was established in 1850 in Belgium as a malt brewery and dairy company. It produced its first chocolate bars in 1911 and began production of chocolate couverture for Belgian chocolatiers in 1925. Callebaut® began exporting its products in 1950 and is part of Barry Callebaut, the world's leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate. 

Barry Callebaut:

With annual sales of about CHF 4.6 billion (EUR 3.6 billion/USD 5.0 billion) for fiscal year 2010/11, Zurich-based Barry Callebaut is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate – from the cocoa bean to the finished chocolate product. Barry Callebaut is present in 27 countries, operates around 40 production facilities and employs a diverse and dedicated workforce of about 6,000 people. Barry Callebaut serves the entire food industry focusing on industrial food manufacturers, artisans and professional users of chocolate (such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs or bakers), the latter with its two global brands Callebaut® and Cacao Barry®. Barry Callebaut is the global leader in cocoa and chocolate innovations and provides a comprehensive range of services in the fields of product development, processing, training and marketing. Cost leadership is another important reason why global as well as local food manufacturers work together with Barry Callebaut. Through its broad range of sustainability initiatives and research activities, the company works with farmers, farmer organizations and other partners to help ensure future supplies of cocoa and improve farmer livelihoods

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For more information:

Julie CHERAR

Public Relations & Communication Manager

BARRY CALLEBAUT

Phone: +33 1 302 284 17

E-mail: Julie_cherar@barry-callebaut.com