Pronatec from Winterthur in the canton of Zurich has now officially opened its cocoa processing plant in Beringen in the canton of Schaffhausen. The Swiss supplier of organic food raw materials and organic chocolate had commissioned the plant in spring 2022. The production system was supplied by the Bühler Group based in Uzwil in the canton of St.Gallen. According to a press release, it was designed in close collaboration and coordination with the Pronatec team. Bühler explains it is “one of Europe’s most advanced cocoa processing plants”. The plant makes Pronatec the first company in Switzerland to produce all three organic cocoa semi-finished products – cocoa mass, butter, and powder.
Pronatec’s fundamental decision to transfer the processing of its organic cocoa beans from external contract processors abroad to Switzerland paved the way for the project. “We are a Swiss company that will produce in Switzerland, with a Swiss machine builder at our side,” says David Yersin, CEO and owner of Pronatec. “As an innovative market leader, after a short evaluation phase, only Bühler came into question for me.” The fact that Pronatec was able to conduct tests in advance at Bühler’s Application and Training Center was a great help.
Bühler describes this project as “groundbreaking”: “The efficiency of the plant at the Swiss site as well as the uncompromising design for 100 percent organic certification was a priority for Pronatec from the very beginning,” said Joachim Essig, Head of Sales Cocoa & Malt at Bühler. Meeting the high requirements Pronatec had for the plant in terms of automation and energy efficiency “was exciting and a learning curve”.