File – Workers dry fermented cacao beans in Jembrana, Bali, on August 26, 2022. (ANTARA FOTO/Nyoman Hendra Wibowo/foc)

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Indonesia is pursuing to become a global cacao processing center, leveraging its position as the world’s third-largest cacao producer with an annual output of around 700,000 tons, according to an official.

Currently, there are 11 cacao processing companies in Indonesia, collectively generating an export value of US$1.12 billion in 2022.

Edy Sutopo, a director at the Ministry of Industry, emphasized on Thursday the ministry’s collaborative approach with various stakeholders across the entire cacao value chain to establish Indonesia as a global leader in cacao and cacao processing.

“We excel in producing intermediate products, including cocoa paste/liquor, cocoa cake, cocoa butter, and cocoa powder, accounting for 9.17 percent of global demand for these products,” he said.

In addition to these sectors, Indonesia holds promising potential in the chocolate and artisan chocolate industries.

The chocolate industry, which produces mass-market products, currently comprises 900 companies with a total production capacity exceeding 462,000 tons per year. In 2022, chocolate exports reached a value of US$76.89 million.

Indonesia also boasts 31 companies in the artisan chocolate industry with a collective production capacity of 1,242 tons annually.

“The artisan chocolate industry generally uses premium raw materials. Indonesia still has immense potential to further develop this sector,” he pointed out.

Sutopo elaborated on the ministry’s proactive measures to enhance the performance of the cacao product-based industry, including ensuring the availability of raw materials.

The ministry is also promoting increased cacao productivity to meet the demands of the industrial sector.

It is also fostering the development of competent industrial human resources, encouraging technology adoption, and optimizing branding initiatives.

“We will also support the sustainability program and traceability in supply chains, intensify campaigns promoting chocolate consumption in the country, participate in national and international exhibitions, and implement a production machine restructuring program,” he said.

The ministry is dedicated to fostering the growth of new entrepreneurs in the cacao processing industry sector.

Indonesia has over 600 chocolate variants or flavors originating from diverse regions.

“This is our potential to continue diversifying and innovating products,” he said.

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