The company which currently has its factory in Ondo State has expressed interest in building a factory in Cross River State in the south-south region, to cater for the increase in production of cocoa beans in that region .
According to the company, the decision to expand is driven by the opportunities that the company enjoys in Cross River State, where the cocoa beans are very productive.
Simon Conway-Jarrett, managing director, Tulip Cocoa processing Limited, who spoke in an interview recently disclosed that the production of cocoa in Cross River State over the last ten years has gone up from around 20,000 to 60,000 tons adding that production is increasing yearly in the state.
According to him, “There is no cocoa processing factory in South-South region that is in Cross River State, arguably there should be and there will be in the future.
“To sustain a cocoa processing factory, you need to be sure you have good supply. If we are to look five to ten years from now, I think we will put up a cocoa processing factory in south-south”.
Conway-Jarrett further said the plan to expand is necessary in order for it to consolidate its position in that area. “There has been a lot of discussion between several companies and the government of cross river state about developing this and I believe that will happen soon,” he said.
The managing director noted that Cocoa still represent something around 30 percent of the non oil export earnings which represents two to three percent of the country’s foreign exchange earning earnings.
“Cocoa generates millions of dollars annually in foreign exchange earnings, but in terms of beans and products, the way that can grow is by doing more local processing,” Conway-Jarrett said.
“What we set out to do is creating a brand Tulip that is a registered brand in Nigeria and everywhere else in the world and the phrase ‘made in Nigeria’ is always under the logo of the Tulip Cocoa processing company. We have packaging different from everybody else. Our products stand out when it goes to overseas markets” he said.