Growers in Ghana show mature cocoa beans. Photo supplied.
Dunedin's Cadbury chocolate manufacturing plant could be
sourcing the majority of its cocoa bean ingredient from the
Asia-Pacific region in coming years.
Cadbury's parent company yesterday launched a 10-year, global
$US400 million ($NZ490 million) investment into sustainable
cocoa production, predominantly around the Asia-Pacific
Cadbury Australia-New Zealand corporate sustainability
director Simon Talbot said predictions were for a global
shortage of hundreds of thousands of tonnes of cocoa beans by
Cadbury wanted to encourage the establishment of a more
sustainable crop, with quality and yields the focus for the
benefit of growers.
Cocoa trees grow only in the equatorial band, about 8deg
north or south of the equator, and take five to seven years
to mature and bear fruit, Mr Talbot said from Melbourne
At present, the cocoa used at Cadbury in Dunedin was 77%
sourced from Africa and 23% from the Asia-Pacific region, but
Mr Talbot wanted to encourage a "more than doubling" of
exports from the Asia-Pacific in coming years.
Mr Talbot declined to reveal how many tonnes Cadbury, as the
world's largest chocolate manufacturer, used each year, for
On the international cocoa bean market, prices have risen
from $US2110 ($NZ2582) a tonne in May to a high of $US2620 in
September, but that had since fallen off to $US2465,
Cadbury New Zealand's parent, Mondelez International
(formerly Kraft Foods) initiated the Cocoa Life programme as
necessary to help transform the livelihoods of cocoa farmers
and communities in the long term.
"What this means for the Australian and New Zealand business
is that we will begin to source the majority of our cocoa
from the Asia Pacific [region]," Mr Talbot said.
Other than a new source, there would be no changes afoot for
the Cadbury site in Dunedin, he said.
Cadbury had numerous field staff and more than 100 people
working in research and development to help Asia Pacific
growers improve crops and maintain quality, he said.
A "significant proportion" of the $US400 million would be
spent in the Asia-Pacific region, and the company was at
present evaluating opportunities in areas such as Sumatra,
Sulawesi, West Papua, Papua New Guinea and several Pacific
Islands, he said.
"Our Cadbury New Zealand business has a long-standing
commitment to sustainable sourcing both locally, buying milk
from New Zealand farmers, and internationally through its
support of Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance, but Cocoa Life
takes this commitment to a new level," he said.