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A new Chocolate factory is expected to launch operations by November later this year in a facility constructed at Tatek Special Industrial Zone in West Shewa, Oromia Regional State.
The chocolate factory is owned by Haredo LLC, which was a small data processing and preparation company based in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. After incorporating new Investors from Europe, the US and Ethiopia the company has now decided to produce chocolate in partnership with local investor Sunshine Investment Group, the leading investor in the factory.
Selamawit Samuel, Chairwoman and major shareholder of Sunshine Business Plc told Capital in an emailed interview that the factory will start operation soon. “The factory has been constructed. We are now in the process of ordering and waiting for the machines to produce the chocolate from Europe. Operation and production will commence November 7th”.
The factory has an annual capacity to produce3,000 tons of chocolate but will begin making them at an annual rate of 1,000 tons in the first year according to a statement from Haredo LLC. ‘In the first year, approximately 35 percent is planned for export’ reads the statement.
Selamawit further noted that the shareholders of the factory have abundant experience and the quality of the product will be high end. “The European Shareholders have a combined 40+ years of experience in the bean to bar production in all facets of sales and marketing of confectionary products ranging from mass -market to niche, through all types of distribution from the modern to the traditional trade, export sales in emerging and developing countries across all geographies and global duty free”.
She further said that they gained their experience working with and for multinationals such as Nestle, Kraft Foods and Perfetti Van Melle.
The vast majority of chocolate producers nowadays buy generic chocolate from a few big chocolate mass manufacturers and then develop and produce their particular product using additives. In sharp contrast, Haredo plans to manufacture their own chocolate mass and utilize only natural ingredients, according to the company’s statement.
Haredoalso plans to introduce a line of products that utilize locally-grown teff, white honey and Ethiopian coffee beans, products that no other chocolatier has on the market.
“We will import Cocoa Beans from East Africa (neighboring countries) but the remaining raw materials such as for example sugar will be outsourced locally. Teff, which is considered a Super Grain by western media will be an additional ingredient, which we will offer to insure a Gluten free/healthy option of our chocolate offerings” Selamawit said.
The factory is estimated to cost 110 million birr and said to be Ethiopia’s first bean-to-bar chocolatier.