Thanks to the close collaboration with its partners in the countries of origin and a direct supply chain that is entirely controlled by PRONATEC, the company can guarantee the traceability of its products at all times. PRONATEC has recently started working with an app-based traceability tool for this purpose, in which all parties involved record the path of the beans from the country of origin to the cocoa processing plant using a barcode via smartphone. “This traceability from farmer to factory is unprecedented,” Yersin says.
Until the point that PRONATEC decided to build its own cocoa plant, it relied on external contractors to process organic and fair-trade cocoa beans into cocoa butter, cocoa liquor, and cocoa powder. “As our business continued to grow ever larger, our dependence on outside contractors became very high. That’s why we decided to build our own cocoa processing plant,” explains David Yersin.
This move brought many advantages. “The goal was also to increase our credibility with customers,” says Simon Yersin, Head of Cocoa at PRONATEC. “Now that we cover this value-added step ourselves in Switzerland, we occupy a completely different position in relation to our customers. All the planning and production are under our control and we can shape it the way we want. This enables us to respond more flexibly to their needs, especially for small batch production. We are the only supplier that can make this possible.”
The Bühler cocoa processing plant, which was designed in close cooperation and coordination with the PRONATEC team, is one of the most advanced plants established worldwide. The advantages lie in the consistently high quality of the roasting and grinding of the cocoa beans into cocoa liquor and further processing into cocoa powder and butter.