Cargill expands Veliche couverture chocolate line
By Bakers Journal
Cargill is expanding its Veliche™ line with two dynamic, Signature Origins dark couverture chocolates. With the announcement, Cargill becomes the only gourmet chocolate supplier to bring the intense flavours of El Salvador and the Democratic Republic of Congo to chefs around the world.
“In developing our new Signature Origins products, we searched the cocoa-growing regions of the world to bring chefs chocolate with unique flavour profiles that truly stand apart from current gourmet offerings,” said Wim Bastiaens, Cargill’s gourmet and distribution director in a statement. “Our Usulután 65 Signature Origin dark couverture chocolate from El Salvador and Okapi 65 Signature Origin dark couverture chocolate from the Democratic Republic of Congo are the result – gourmet chocolates that will surprise and delight consumers’ palates.”
While only small quantities of cocoa beans are produced in El Salvador, those that do grow in its rich, volcanic soils are highly prized.
Alongside the new product launches, Cargill reveals its recyclable packaging that showcases the diverse chefs and farmers behind the company’s gourmet chocolate. The enhanced packaging represents one part of an expanding commitment to the environment.
“Since its introduction to the gourmet market in 2016, sustainability has been a pillar of the Veliche brand,” Bastiaens said, noting that most Veliche cocoa and chocolate products are sustainably sourced from Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, and all are certified by the Rainforest Alliance™. “Five years later, and we’re still the only gourmet line to offer 100 per cent sustainably sourced cocoa and chocolate. Now we’re going a step further, unveiling a program designed to support entrepreneurship in our cocoa-origin countries.”
Cargill is investing $950,000 (EUR 800,000) in a new sustainability initiative in Cote d’Ivoire supported by Veliche, which aims to empower cocoa farming households to become ‘agripreneurs’ and manage their farms as businesses. The program, implemented through our partner, the international development nonprofit TechnoServe, includes individual coaching on good agricultural practices, provides support with on- and off-farm income diversification, and entrepreneurship training for women and youth.
Cargill’s actions to expand its Veliche line and reaffirm its commitment to the gourmet chocolate space come just six months since the announcement of its investment in additional capabilities in its Kalmthout, Belgium, gourmet production facility in 2020. That move followed a string of investments in the gourmet segment, including acquisitions of Archer Daniels Midland Co.’s global chocolate business in 2015 and Smet decorations in 2019.