Niche Cocoa Industry


Niche Cocoa Industry (NICHE) is a green field project. The Company aims to produce high quality semi-finished niche products including organic and fair-trade products: cocoa liquor; cocoa butter ; natural and alkalized cocoa powder. The Company will source its raw beans from Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and export its products globally.

Local banks remain reluctant to finance start-up SMEs in Ghana and to provide long term loans in general. The global financial crisis has worsened this situation. The local banks usually offer 3 or 4 years loans. Furthermore, loans are given in the local currency, the Ghanaian CEDI, which is instable.

BIO provides the company a 600.000 USD loan with a medium term loan of 8 years and an extended grace period of 3 years, which is necessary for this type of investment, as production will progressively build up.

BIO’s 2011 loan finances the acquisition of a second press to transform cocoa liquor into cocoa butter and powder. This second press allows for production capacity to be doubled from 1,000 tons to 2,000 tons per month. The augmented production allows Niche to have enough butter and powder to respond to the demand of export clients and to develop its own chocolate production unit. Niche will become the first company in the industry able to deliver a finished product in Ghana, destined for the Ghanaian market.

In 2015, Niche set about to develop a new product line targeted at the local market: bars of chocolate and chocolate for toppings. This will create added value within the country. The company has an important direct impact on employment creation, as it offers over 400 jobs in the factory. Moreover, at its maximum production rate, Niche sources cocoa beans from approximately 30,000 farmers, securing them with a steady off-take of their produce. BIO is proud to support Niche in this ambitious plan and contribute to the further establishing of Ghana as a leading country in cocoa production. With a long term loan of EUR 4.3 million, Niche will be able to finance the expansion plans without putting at risk the daily operations and sourcing of cocoa beans.

 BIO’s loan is helping an innovative project with a long-term impact on the local population. It is a local Ghanaian initiative that will produce for the local market. NICHE uses local resources and creates value in the country of origin.

The production plant is located in the Tema Export Processing Zone, which has an EPA approved waste-water treatment facility. Moreover, NICHE’s facility and equipment have been designed in accordance with the latest standards for cocoa processing efficiency and environmental requirements were addressed in the design stage.

  • Investment amount (€):

    EUR 4.763 million

    Cocoa liquor, butter and powder production

  • Contract signature :

    2011 2015

  • Nature of intervention :


  • Development impacts :

    • 1 — Job creation
    • 2 — Local production of finished product destined for the local market