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NEWS UPDATES 19 July 2010

S’pore firm to invest $500m in RI cacao industry

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ADM Cocoa Pte Ltd, an intermediate cacao product manufacturer based in Singapore, plans to invest about US$500 million in the cacao processing industry in Indonesia, a senior official told the Jakarta Post.

“The company expects to process between 80,000 and 100,000 tons of cacao per year,” Deputy Agriculture Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi told The Jakarta Post on Sunday via text message. He said ADM Cocoa had acquired land in South Sulawesi for a cacao plantation to supply cocoa beans for the company’s processing plants.

“It intends to develop a new factory or upgrade its existing plant. Talks are still under way,” he said.

“We estimate national production of cocoa beans at 750,000 tons this year,” Bayu said, adding that Indonesia exported 350,000 tons of cocoa each year.

Apart from cacao, he said, the ministry had also accelerated its campaign to promote other agricultural products, including coffee.

Accompanied by the Indonesian Coffee Exporters Association (AEKI) and representatives from 20 coffee producers, a ministry delegation led by Bayu recently toured China to promote Indonesian coffee, starting with a pitch at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China. “Chinese consumers very much enjoy Indonesian coffee,” he said, adding they preferred coffee with exotic aromas such as Toraja and Mandailing coffees. He said Chinese consumers also loved the Indonesian coffee specialty Kopi Luwak.

The Luwak coffee stand is one of the more popular stands at the Indonesia pavilion at the six-month Expo that kicked off May 1.

It serves between 300 and 500 cups of coffee each day to visitors. “This is proof that coffee drinking is becoming more popular among the traditionally tea-loving Chinese,” Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said last week. Bayu said Indonesian coffee producers were targeting young Chinese consumers, an estimated market of 350 million people.

“Chinese demand accounts for about 17 percent of our total exports each year,” he said, adding that exports of Indonesian coffee to China could reach 50,000 tons annually.

Bayu added that a global coffee association had included four Indonesian blends in its list of the 10 best coffees in the world — Toraja, Gayo, Mandailing and East Java.

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