Family-owned Swiss company PRONATEC has been processing cocoa beans into cocoa mass, butter and powder at its organic plant since June 2022. An assessment carried out in September 2023 indicates there have been no pesticide cases in the semi-finished cocoa products since production began.
According to the company, this is due to the fact that its new plant is organic, so mixing with conventional products has been ruled out. Another contributing factor has been strict cocoa bean analysis procedures developed by PRONATEC, enabling the company to detect raw materials with minimal traces of residue.
During the first year of production, products in the factory were subject to extensive testing. An evaluation carried out this month confirms the advantages of the organic production plant; there have been no pesticide cases detected, even as the volume of beans processed has increased by around 80% during the same period.
“The fact that we have not had a single pesticide case validates our decision to go for a purely organic plant,” commented David Yersin, CEO and Owner, PRONATEC. “There is no mixing with conventional products here. Now people can see the benefits in black and white.”
So far, PRONATEC has produced approximately 7000 tonnes of organic, semi-finished cocoa products.
Meticulous analysis of the cocoa beans and a specially developed analytical procedure have contributed to this result. “Many processors have the problem that their pesticide analysis of the raw materials does not match the analysis of the processed products,” explained Samuel Hanimann, Head of Quality Management. “Problematic raw materials are not reliably detected and lead to significantly higher follow-on costs, if the residues are only detected at the semi-finished product stage. PRONATEC has developed a process that produces very accurate and representative results and this is reflected in higher product quality.”
Because of its own subsidiary company in the Dominican Republic, which is the source of most of the cocoa beans it processes, the company has been able to optimise the quality of cocoa beans, it said, and prevent mixing with conventional raw materials.
From 2024, PRONATEC’s cocoa products will be available with the US Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC) label. ROC uses internationally recognised organic labels as a baseline and adds important requirements for soil health, animal welfare and fair terms for farmers.
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