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Cargill and Nidar: thriving with the evolution of a strong customer relationship

Cargill at 150

May 03, 2016

An important feature in the relationship that Cargill has with our customers is the way we have adapted to their developing needs over the past 150 years. The impressive growth of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate over the past several decades has been largely due to this successful cooperation between Cargill and its customers. The longstanding partnership with Nidar is a prime example.

In the past chocolate manufacturers produced their own cocoa butter and cocoa powder. Due to a growing demand for cocoa butter and limited outlets for their cocoa powder, these chocolate manufactures turned to Cargill for their extra demand of cocoa butter.

Cargill, as a specialist in the consistent, high-quality production of cocoa powder, was able to supply the chocolate industry with that desired cocoa butter and created growth for both ourselves and our customers.

As well, in the 1980’s chocolate manufacturers needed to focus more and more on the marketing of their consumer products, investing in growth of the brand rather than investing in a larger production capacity of semi-finished products. Because of this trend, Cargill saw an opportunity and increasingly produced cocoa liquor as a source of these semi-finished products for the chocolate industry.


One of Cargill’s first customers for cocoa liquor was the chocolate and confectionery manufacturer Nidar, located in Trondheim, Norway. We already supplied Nidar for a number of years with cocoa butter, and in the late 1980’s cocoa liquor producers including Cargill helped them outsource their cocoa liquor production. As a result, Nidar could focus more on the production of chocolate and leave the effort of selecting the best quality beans for their cocoa liquor to Cargill.

We made sure that the raw materials were always available by securing a reliable supply chain for both cocoa butter and cocoa liquor. This tight cooperation developed into a serious partnership between the two companies, both professionally and personally.

At the turn of the century, new developments occurred in the cocoa and chocolate industry. Consumer activism and media attention put chocolate manufacturers in the spotlight. Poverty in cocoa production countries and particularly child labor were issues that demanded a responsible supply chain. Nidar turned to Cargill for help. We had set up a responsible supply chain for cocoa beans from Cote d’Ivoire some time before and were able to supply a UTZ-certified flow of cocoa products to Nidar within three years. The partnership between Nidar and Cargill led to the sponsorship of Nidar of two Coops in Cote d’Ivoire. The collaboration was officially signed in Oslo in 2007. Because of this fruitful cooperation between Nidar and Cargill, Nidar was able to declare 100% sustainability of their supply chain in 2010.