The CEO of Barry Callebaut AG spoke to reporters in Yaounde, May 23, 2019.
Antoine de Saint-Afrique, Chief Executive Officer of Barry Callebaut AG, a Swiss global leader in cocoa processing has disclosed that the company plans to scale up cocoa production and processing in Cameroon. He spoke to reporters in Yaounde on May 23, shortly after a meeting with Alamine Ousmane Mey, Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development.
The CEO said the multinational has been operating in Cameroon for over 70 years through its subsidiary, SIC Cacao, and says it is time they increase production and processing both in quantity and quality. "We exchanged on how to keep our company going; how to add value to it. Processing and increasing quality and quantity in Cameroon is a priority. We also looked at how to help local entrepreneurs increase their quality and quantity so that the sector will be prosperous- it is an emerging sector," he said.
His host, Minister Ousmane Mey said the fact that the company has been in Cameroon for more than 70 years, is a sign of trust, confidence and success. "Our economy is based on agriculture and obviously our future economy would benefit from activities in this sector. We want to commend the activities of this group in our country. We also want to see the extension of their capacity and the modernisation of their equipment which is a very strong signal of their commitment to make this sector of activity contribute greatly to our development," he said.
President Biya in his inaugural speech in November 6, 2018 said Cameroon's development would be based on agriculture and agro industries. This company and others integrating value chains through increase in production and processing capacities would facilitate this development, according to Minister Ousmane Mey. "The increase in agricultural output in different sectors would make Cameroon an emergent country by 2035. The primary and secondary sectors in terms of industrialisation are the key drivers of this development process," he said.