Cargill won't reduce ICoast cocoa ops after "satisfactory" tax talks

Wed Feb 6, 2013 6:28am EST
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* Cargill was re-evaluating after incentives abolished

* Ivory Coast wants to increase domestic cocoa processing

ABIDJAN Feb 6 (Reuters) - Cargill has no plans to reduce its cocoa processing operations in Ivory Coast, citing progress in talks with the government over abolished tax breaks for grinders and increased export levies, company officials said.

The company had said those decisions, taken late last year, would force it to re-evaluate its operations in the world's biggest cocoa grower.

However, following a meeting with the country's prime minister and minister of industry, Cargill officials said there were no plans to reduce the amount of cocoa processed in Ivory Coast or move its grinding operations elsewhere.

"It's not being discussed," said Paul Naar, president of Cargill Europe, late on Tuesday.

Cargill is among the world's leading processors of cocoa and operates facilities in Ivory Coast with a capacity to grind 120,000 tonnes of beans annually.

"The dialogue is ongoing... We're satisfied with the process. Our engagement in Ivory Coast remains the same," said Cargill's Ivory Coast director Lionel Soulard, who also attended the meeting.

Ivory Coast scrapped a 20-year-old tax break for the 2012/13 season that had been given to grinders to encourage more domestic processing of beans.   Continued...