EAST GREENVILLE, PA. — Blommer Chocolate Co. has formed a $3 million cocoa sustainability partnership with Cemoi Chocolatier of France and Petra Foods of Southeast Asia. The joint venture, which will be called the Processors Alliance for Cocoa Traceability and Sustainability (PACTS), aims to improve the supply of high quality, fermented cocoa beans from the Ivory Coast by supporting farmers in the region.

As part of the PACTS program, farmers will be trained in modern techniques and provided with skills to improve crop yield and quality. In addition, the joint venture will establish up to 30 fermentation centers that will support approximately 10,000 farmers over the next three years. The fermentation centers will serve as a hub from which farmers may improve agronomy skills and understanding, Blommer said.

“Bloomer has developed its sustainability platform through the building of strong partnerships,” said Peter Blommer, president and chief operating officer for Blommer Chocolate. “The prospect of partnering with two of the most highly respected companies in the cocoa industry in a new and innovative program presents an exciting opportunity to expand that platform.”

Blommer, which is the largest cocoa processor and ingredient chocolate supplier in North America, is involved in several private sustainability programs in Indonesia, Ecuador and Ivory Coast.

Cemoi, which developed the fermentation center model for the joint venture, is the No. 1 chocolate producer in France.

Petra Foods is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of cocoa ingredients, and is a key player in branded consumer confectionery products in the Southeast Asia region.