The owners of the HD Cotterell warehousing business in Amsterdam, which has been under new management since early 2019, are planning to expand and invest further in facilities for fine flavour cocoa. They also plan to invest in controlled atmosphere technology to treat cocoa.
Speaking exclusively to C&CI at the European Cocoa Association conference in Lisbon in September 2019, HD Cotterell BV Managing Director Oscar Brouwer told C&CI that the company is hoping to acquire a mobile controlled atmosphere system that could be used at any of its warehouses. It is looking into the acquisition of containerised treatment facilities housed in a standard container.
Mr Brouwer and colleagues Geert Habers and Rolf Hulleman have a background in the cocoa sector. Mr Brouwer has 20 years of experience in cocoa and until recently was General Manager at another warehouse-keeper active in the cocoa sector in Hamburg. He also served at the Federation of Cocoa Commerce and was a Council Member (Trade) and a member of the FCC’s Arbitration and Appeal Committee.
Mr Brouwer explained that Mr Hulleman and Mr Habers had been supplying temporary warehouse and labour to cocoa warehouse-keepers in the Port of Amsterdam for some time and are well-versed in handling cocoa in bags and bulk, and in handling cocoa products.
“Operating a warehouse ourselves was the logical next step,” Mr Brouwer told C&CI. An opportunity to do that came when the Amsterdam warehouses of Cotterell were put up for sale and Mr Brouwer and his colleagues took over the company, its clients and staff.
Mr Brouwer and his colleagues now manage three warehouses in the Amsterdam area, among which is an ICE-approved facility and another for organic cocoa.
HD Cotterell BV’s focus is on cocoa in bags, rather than breakbulk, although in the long-term the company does not rule out facilities for bulk cocoa.
Looking forward, the company plans to focus in particular on the market for fine flavour cocoa. “Cocoa destined for the bean to bar market, that’s the market we are going after,” said Mr Brouwer, noting that HD Cotterell BV is also a popular warehouse with a number of Central and South American exporters, for whom it stores cocoa.