Touton Group, one of the world’s largest cocoa trading companies, is set to begin operations in Ghana.

Speaking at the inauguration of Cocoa Touton Processing Company (CTPC), President John Mahama, said although Ghana currently processes about 30% of cocoa beans in the country, he is hopeful the figure will increase soon with the arrival of the cocoa trading company.

“With the arrival of Touton in Ghana, it demonstrates the confidence France and other countries have in our economy. This will create jobs for our youth and transforming our economy from a net importer to net exporter of goods and services”, the President said.

A powerful player in the trading of cocoa, coffee, vanilla, spices and a variety of ingredients through a network of exporting subsidiaries in different countries, Touton considered for many years the idea of becoming a cocoa grinder in a producing country.

The opportunity presented itself with the take-over of an existing grinding factory in Tema, Ghana, known as Commodities Processing Industries Ltd, belonging to Niche Cocoa Industry Ltd – creating Cocoa Touton Processing Company (CTPC).

Previously owned and run by Mr. Edmund Poku, Commodities Processing Industries Ltd started operations in 2007 and quickly became one of the largest manufacturer of cocoa-derived foods, with a capacity of processing 25,000 metric tonnes of cocoa per annum.

Now, with its multi-million Euro investment into Ghana’s cocoa industry, Cocoa Touton Processing Company (CTPC), has become one of few companies in Ghana that is producing cocoa liquor for export.

At an earlier press conference during the inauguration, the CEO of Touton, Mr. Patrick de Boussac said, “this moment is a historic one for us. We strongly believe in the future of Africa. We have always had a strong business relationship with West Africa.

“Touton has been around for a long time and our stable relationship with Niche Cocoa Industry Ltd and Commodities Processing Industries Limited in Ghana, allowed us to make a very easy decision about how best to diversify our business. We strongly believe in the stability and growth of Ghana and the promise of its natural and human resources.

“Touton is making a huge investment in Ghana, which will contribute to creating more jobs and opportunities for Ghanaians. We will also ensure that it contributes to maintaining Ghana’s status as a strong and reliable global supplier of cocoa and cocoa products”.

Edmund Poku said he was happy with Touton’s entry into Ghana.

He said, “I have had this dream and vision for a very long time. When I began Commodities Processing Industries Ltd, it was difficult, but I knew something fruitful and profitable would come out of the venture. My confidence was borne out of a combination of knowing that Ghana used to be one Africa’s biggest exporters of Cocoa. Yes, it may have dropped at a point, but there is also something about being relentless in the effort to bring Ghana back on that map of cocoa export and processing. This is a very humbling moment for me. CPI and Niche were my very first business effort when I returned to Ghana. I built the factory myself and watched the company grow. But I am happy that Touton is now taking over the ex-CPI factory. I trust their commitment to the business and their commitment to Ghana and Africa as a whole. We will always be in business under the name of Niche Cocoa Industry Ltd and it is my hope that this is the beginning of greater things to happen for industries”

The event was also attended by members of Ghana’s business community, the Diplomatic Corps, Government Officials, the chiefs and people of Tema and its surrounding areas.