Zurich — Barry Callebaut AG has acquired the remaining 51 percent of shares in Biolands International Ltd., a supplier of certified-organic cocoa.
The Swiss chocolate giant bought a 49 percent stake in Biolands in 2008 and has been purchasing 100 percent of the company’s top-grade cocoa since 2000, Callebaut reports.
Produced in east and west Africa, the company has sourced an average of about 10,000 metric tons of cocoa annually from Biolands, Jens Rupp, Callebaut’s head of corporate social responsibility communications, tells Candy & Snack TODAY.
Callebaut reports the acquisition fits well with its overall strategy to become a leader in sustainable cocoa and gain access to individual growers as well as cooperatives. Biolands works directly with smallholder cocoa farms, which guarantees complete traceability, from village to port.
As part of the deal, Callebaut will retain 143 full-time Biolands employees. “One attribute of the Biolands employees is that all of them are able to do every type of work required,” Rupp adds.
Caption: Some 140 full-time Bioland staff members, seen here posing in front of the company's Kyela, United Republic of Tanzania, office, are trained to handle any farm duty pertaining to cocoa growing, according to Barry Callebaut AG.