- François-Xavier Branthôme
The Carré d’Or Group is one of the principal players in the economic growth of Abidjan and the Ivory Coast. The company is one of the biggest industrial groups in West Africa and was born from the desire of Ibrahim Ezzedine to create a group of companies capable of participating in the industrialization of the country, creating wealth and employment.
Operations started in 1988, thanks to the importation and sale of many kinds of goods. A few years after its creation, the group decided to diversify its own production, giving rise over time to many diverse companies. The main businesses are distribution and handling, the production of pasta, flour, water and tomato paste and the realization of packaging materials. The turnover in 2019 stabilized at around 50 million Euros.
From imports to own production
After having imported and distributed tomato paste, ketchup and canned legumes for years for the local market, the Carré d’Or Group decided to create a plant for its own production of these products and to create a company dedicated to tomato processing on the Ivory Coast, whose name is Tomaci. The company detected three fundamental needs for identifying the ideal partner for the project’s development:
Having one supplier for the majority of the production lines,
Being able to rely on a partner with experience in the processing technologies of all types of foods,
Finding a supplier with a solid know-how and a strong vocation for export.
All the major manufacturers of machinery for the food industry were consulted, and each was asked to present their work plan, including references and pre and post sales services that best fit with such a project for tomato processing on the Ivory Coast.
Competition was very fierce, considering also the overall value of the project and the challenge represented by building something entirely new, complete and with an undoubted impact on the industrial development of that area of the African continent.
The history, the references and the complete offer put in place by CFT Group convinced Tomaci and the Carré d’Or group to entrust CFT with the task.
The first two plants for processing tomato purée and producing ketchup built for Tomaci date back to February 2015. The two preparation lines, with capacities of 5 000 and 2 500 kg / h, were allocated to packaging the product in cans and aluminium foil plastic sachets and pouches.
The two lines were designed ad hoc taking into account the customer’s request to obtain high viscosity values of the final product.
In December 2015 the factory was expanded with two more lines, the first for packing the tomato sauce in 2.2 kg and 400 g cans, the second for the rehydration, cooking, filling and sterilization of legumes in 400 and 800 g cans.
In 2019 CFT supplied Tomaci (Alyssa and La Signora Brands) with two more lines for tomato paste processing, to produce tomato-based sauce and ketchup, with a capacity of 2 500 and 3 000 kg / h.
Tomaci had no experience in the production of tomato-based sauce: for this reason, a fundamental part of CFT’s work was to provide continuous training and assistance in the field, and also adapting and modifying the equipment sold after their start-up.
The latest lines supplied to Tomaci include many of the most advanced CFT Group technologies for food processing.
“CFT Group has made our machinery with quality materials and automation of a high standard, assisting us for all the time necessary to make the lines purchased efficient and reliable. The company has also provided us with very satisfactory after-sales service, which has allowed us to never have to stop the plants. Our lines have been working 6 days a week in 3 shifts, for a total of 130 hours per week for over 3 years.”
Dr Alessandro Abbo – Tomaci Technical Manager
The launching of the last plants took place in August 2020; CFT is definitely satisfied with what the company managed to build for Tomaci: a complete, state-of-the-art factory, with great yield potential. Another successful project, which confirms the leading Italian supplier of food equipment as a reference partner for African companies that are investing in the development of the food sector in their countries.
Source: CFT, Carré d’Or