The brief: to write a <400 word update for internal newsletter on meeting growing demand in Brazil for Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate.

Leveraging global supply chain to meet Brazilian demand

Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate leverages supply chain synergies to meet customer demand by importing beans from IVC to Brazil. Find out how the local teams made it happen.

Customer demand for chocolate and cocoa continues to grow in Brazil. Local cocoa farmers are unable to meet that demand year-round. That is why CCC is now importing beans from Côte d’Ivoire (IVC) to the South American nation. It is a great example of leveraging our global supply chain and acting as one global business.

The move provides CCC with more flexibility. We are no longer reliant on the local crop or main-crop imports from Ghana. We can ensure capacity at our Brazilian processing plant is maximized and the supply chain runs smoothly.

Great IVC/Brazil cooperation

The different teams involved made a huge effort to get this off the ground. Once the Brazilian government provided the go-ahead for the imports, we placed an initial purchase order of 7 kMT IVC mid-crop quality beans through our Trading department. The deal was executed by our Sourcing, Logistics, Legal and Trade Execution departments in IVC and Brazil.

“Outstanding collaboration between the different teams was needed to make the transaction a success,” confirms Rob Willemsen, Regional Director Cocoa Sourcing & Risk Management, Brazil. “The overall process is a clear example of the advantages of our global supply chain and excellent communication between the teams. Benjamin Krieg, Logistics & Shipping Manager in IVC, was tremendous throughout, keeping in contact with local authorities and the Brazilian embassy there.”

Upcoming elections cause tension

Careful negotiation was also needed to make sure we got the cooperation of local Brazilian authorities. The authorities requested additional steps and actions, even after the Brazilian Minister of Agriculture approved the deal. The negotiations took place during a politically sensitive climate, in the run-up to elections in Brazil in October 2018. That meant we wanted to ensure we were seen to be complying fully. Initially, there were concerns that Brazilian farmers would pressure politicians to stop the imports as they did five years ago.

Luckily, there were no protests this time around and everything went smoothly once some practical issues were addressed. CCC was asked to fumigate the ship used to transport the beans, demonstrate the quality of the beans, and most importantly, provide all the required certificates and other documents. This was all executed and coordinated by our Logistics departments, and followed up by the Trade Execution teams.

“The next step will to be analyze the impact of the imports on the Brazilian market,” says Rob. “We’ll also evaluate the addition of IVC beans to our blend of beans. That way we can optimize our blending and purchasing strategies.”