Belgian firm sets up Vietnam's 1st cacao processing plant

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Belgian-owned Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam Thursday opened the first cacao fermentation plant in the country in the southern province of Ben Tre.

The firm, a joint venture between Puratos Group and Grand-Place Holding, said in a press release that the plant is of international standard.

Gricha Safarian, the firm's managing director, said the beans-to-bar process at the plant would be a "game changer" for the cacao industry in Vietnam.

The country, a major exporter of rice and robusta coffee, would switch from importing to exporting the beans and related products, and local farmers would benefit as well, he said.

On the same day the company also opened a cacao development center along with Mars, one of the world's leading chocolate brands.

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