Bunge Loders Croklaan has opened a shea butter processing facility in Tema, Ghana, claiming that the site is the ‘largest facility of its kind in Africa.’
According to Bunge Loders Croklaan, the processing facility is a fully-automated solvent fractionation plant that processes raw shea butter made from locally collected and crushed shea nuts into two products – shea olein and shea stearin.
Shea stearin produced at the site is then processed further at the company’s processing sites in The Netherlands, Malaysia, US and Canada, to produce ingredients that can be used in food and non-food applications such as chocolate.
The facility is the company’s first shea processing plant in Africa, and Bunge Loders Croklaan says that the site will allow it to meet the growing global demand for shea.
Aaron Buettner, president: “Our latest investment in Ghana plays a critical role in strengthening BLC’s global infrastructure for processing and supplying high-quality shea products to our customers around the world, while also bolstering the entire ecosystem of regional crushers and local shea collectors in the West African region
“The facility allows us to meaningfully support and empower the local shea communities through the transfer of knowledge of value-adding processes and by investing in local skills development. We are proud to join forces with local communities to help build and advance the African shea industry together.”
Ben Vreeburg, senior director sustainability for tropical oils at BLC, said: “We believe that the key to building a better tomorrow for shea communities is by investing in sustainable trade and income diversification.
This belief is what brings our shea sustainability initiatives to life and the Where Life Grows campaign captures our commitment to create value to the countries and communities where shea is originated.”