Swiss chocolate sales fell 14.3% in the first eight months of the year as the COVID-19 pandemic hit travel retail and the industry's business with hotels and restaurants. The decline was even more marked in the four months to August, at 21.5%, with both domestic sales and exports hit, industry association Chocosuisse said in a statement on Tuesday. Over 70% of Swiss chocolate is exported, with business particularly affected this summer by the downturn in travel and tourism, said the association, which counts Barry Callebaut and Lindt & Sprüngli among its members.
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A pandemic-linked drop in global cocoa demand is hindering Ivory Coast's efforts to sell the remaining 500,000 tonnes of cocoa beans from its 2020/21 interim harvest, sources in the cocoa regulator (CCC) and local industry said. Ivory Coast, the world's largest cocoa producer, sells 70-80% of its cocoa crop to exporters and chocolate makers via the CCC and sets a guaranteed price for producers before the start of the harvest in October. But the coronavirus epidemic has disrupted the market this year, with global grinding down 4% on average in the most recent quarter and fears the trend could worsen given the second wave of infections in the northern hemisphere winter.
Carrefour, Europe's largest retailer has announced that it was buying the bankrupt specialist distributor Bio c'Bon for €60 million, as part of plans to revamp its food range and focus more on organic food, reports Reuters. The Paris commercial court validated Carrefour's offer for Bio c'Bon, which had been put under court-ordered restructuring, as it included a commitment to preserve more than 1,000 employees, almost the entire workforce, the Carrefour statement said. 'Bio c'Bon has developed a very attractive specialised distribution network, combining a contemporary store concept and an offer adapted to urban centres in prime locations,' it said. The Bio c'Bon network of over 100 stores strengthens the specialised organic store division of Carrefour and follows the acquisition of So.bio in April 2019 and BioAzur in October 2020. The company has annual sales of €130 million.
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