Puratos and private investors join forces to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers globally



Brussels (Belgium), September 8, 2021

Puratos has concluded a € 1 billion financing with a group of private investors including Barings as the main account. The first draw of funding will be used to further accelerate the Cacao-Trace program which was founded by Puratos, the international manufacturer of ingredients for the bakery, pastry and chocolate industries. Cacao-Trace helps cocoa farmers to increase their income through the production of superior tasting chocolate, obtained by mastering the fermentation process.


Globally, nearly 50 million people, mostly located in the tropics, depend on cocoa for their livelihoods. On average, West African cocoa farmers earn less than € 2 per day, an income below the poverty line.

The Cacao-Trace program was created in 2014 by Puratos & Belcolade, a brand of the Puratos Group. Since its creation, and today with the support of this group of private investors, the Cacao-Trace program aims to increase its net positive social and environmental impact on the cocoa supply chain. Cacao-Trace focuses on superior tasting chocolate and in doing so generates value for everyone, from farmers to consumers. The program trains farmers and helps them deliver higher quality cocoa beans, increasing their income through a higher price and a chocolate bonus of € 0.10 per kilo of chocolate, in addition to the conventional farm gate price. Today, the premium price and the chocolate bonus amount to the equivalent of 3 to 4 additional months of salary. Cacao-Trace is already present in several countries around the world: Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Mexico, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Uganda and Vietnam.


Following an in-depth due diligence process, a group of private investors agreed to finance Puratos and Cacao-Trace for a total amount of € 1 billion, thus demonstrating the relevance and long-term potential of Cacao. -Trace, to transform the cocoa supply chain in a social and sustainable way. Funding mechanisms have been evaluated by Peterson Projects and verified according to ICMA[1] principles of sustainable financing. Puratos completed this transaction with BNP Paribas as lead arranger and Eubelius as legal and tax advisor.

The € 1 billion long-term funding will support the purchase of more Cacao-Trace certified beans directly from farmers, stepping up collaboration with local cocoa communities. It will also be used to build ten post-harvest cocoa centers and three grinding lines in Central and South America, Africa and Asia by 2026.

This large-scale transaction marks the first sustainable financing for Puratos. Jean-Philippe Michaux, Chief Financial Officer and Head of the Sustainable Development Steering Committee at Puratos, “Cacao-Trace is a long-term commitment of Puratos to a sustainable cocoa supply chain. It goes well beyond average industry standards for sustainable chocolate by creating value for everyone, starting with cocoa farmers. We are there on the ground, alongside farming communities, to coach 8,867 farmers to grow better cocoa and provide advice on how to manage the plantations more sustainably. The sustainable financing has been granted for a period of 20 years, which shows the long-term vision of Puratos and its investment partners. As a family business, we think in terms of generations. This funding will help us accelerate our efforts and further improve the positive impacts for chocolate communities. It is our commitment to you and to future generations to enjoy the best tasting chocolate for many years to come.

Jim Moore, Managing Director, Barings Private Debt Group: “Puratos is an innovative and strong company, and the steps it takes to improve its sustainability both environmentally and socially echo Barings’ focus on its ESG efforts.”.

Tomas Fiege Vos de Wael, Head of Sustainability, Peterson Projects: “We believe this funding will help increase and increase the environmental ambitions of the green bond market and we look forward to seeing the impact it will create for farmers in the cocoa industry around the world.”.

IMCA: International Association of Capital Markets

About Puratos

Puratos is an international group that offers a full range of innovative products, raw materials and application know-how to artisans, manufacturers, distributors and catering customers in the bakery, pastry and chocolate sectors. Our head office is located on the outskirts of Brussels (Belgium), where the company was founded in 1919. Today our products and services are available in over 100 countries around the world. In many cases, they are produced locally by our subsidiaries. Above all, we aim to be “trusted innovation partners” around the world to help our customers provide nutritious and tasty food to their local communities.

For more information, visit www.puratos.com.

About Belcolade

Belcolade, the true Belgian chocolate brand of the Puratos group, is exclusively produced in Belgium. Belcolade is made from carefully selected ingredients to the highest quality standards. It is the result of careful exploration and selection of the finest and tastiest cocoa beans from around the world. This makes Belcolade a trusted partner for thousands of professionals around the world.

For more information, visit www.belcolade.com

About Cacao-Trace

Cacao-Trace is Puratos’ sustainable cocoa sourcing program that focuses on better tasting chocolate and in doing so creates value for everyone, from producer to consumer. The chocolate is obtained from the highest quality beans, fermented and dried according to strict guidelines. The program was initiated in 2014 and now has 8,867 farmers from 7 cocoa producing countries.

For more information, visit www.cacaotrace.com

About Barings

Barings is a more than $ 382 billion * global investment manager who seeks differentiated opportunities and builds long-term portfolios in public and private bond markets, real estate and specialty stock markets. With investment professionals based in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, the company, a subsidiary of MassMutual, aims to serve its clients, communities and employees, and is committed to adopting sustainable practices and responsible investment.

Learn more about www.barings.com.

* Assets under management as of June 30, 2021

About the Peterson Projects

Peterson Projects is a sustainability consultancy based in The

Netherlands. It is the consulting division of the family-owned Peterson Control Union World Group, which is a globally operating service provider for most certifications and inspections, with a presence in 75 countries and in business. since 1920. Peterson Projects expertise lies in supply chain management, risk analysis and adaptation to climate change, sustainability strategy as well as environmental footprint (carbon and water).

About BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas is the leading bank in the European Union and a key player in international banking. It is present in 68 countries and has more than 193,000 employees, including nearly 148,000 in Europe. The Group occupies key positions in its three main areas of activity: Retail banking, Investment and provident services, and Corporate and institutional banking. A key player in international banking, the Group has leading platforms and businesses in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas, as well as a solid and growing business in Asia-Pacific.

BNP Paribas has implemented a Corporate Social Responsibility approach in all of its activities, enabling it to contribute to building a sustainable future, while ensuring the performance and stability of the Group.

About Eubelius

Eubelius is the largest independent law firm in Belgium. His full-service banking and finance practice deals with all aspects of Belgian law relating to general corporate finance, assets (syndicates), real estate and project finance.


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