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Meet “Dark Borneo” – First Ever KitKat Made With Cocoa Beans From Sabah And Sarawak!

Meet “Dark Borneo” – First Ever KitKat Made With Cocoa Beans From Sabah And Sarawak!

The new KitKat is the first result of the partnership with Malaysian Cocoa Board to accelerate cocoa farming development in Malaysia.

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In line with its ongoing efforts to localise its ingredients supply chain, Nestlé Malaysia has just unveiled its latest innovation: KitKat® Dark Borneo, made exclusively using cocoa beans grown in Sabah and Sarawak.

The beans are sourced through the Nestlé Borneo Cocoa Initiative (NBCI) launched in September last year.

NBCI is a strategic partnership between Nestlé Malaysia and the Malaysian Cocoa Board (MCB) to expand the Company’s Farmer Connect program to East Malaysia.

This is the latest farming venture by Nestlé Malaysia to support better and more sustainable agricultural practices, contributing to the nation’s food security and improved livelihoods for the farmers involved, through the various Nestlé’s Farmer Connect program.

Since 1985, the Company has been actively engaged in the planting of local chilis and rice in several states.

More recently, since 2019, the company is also leading the expansion of coffee planting in Kedah and in Kelantan.

Finally, the expansion through NBCI to East Malaysia offers great opportunity to develop cocoa local supply building on the favourable soil and weather conditions in Sabah and Sarawak, whilst contributing towards positioning Malaysia back in the global supply landscape for this highly valued crop.

Using Trinitario cocoa beans grown in Borneo’s fertile volcanic soil and tropical rainforest climate, which goes through a careful fermentation and sun drying process, the KitKat Dark Borneo with 52% cocoa content strikes a perfect balance of rich and creamy taste, with unique fruity notes that give the product a very distinct and sophisticated personality.

KitKat Dark Borneo is part of the KitKat product range produced at the Halal-certified Chembong industrial complex in Negeri Sembilan.

Recently equipped with a new Biomass Boiler plant which significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions, this facility is one the largest Nestlé confectionery plants in Asia, and plays a pivotal role as an export manufacturing hub to all ASEAN markets and other destinations.

Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani (left) and Juan Aranols. – Image: Eshvar/TRP

At the official launch event, held at the Malaysian Cocoa Board in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, Juan Aranols, Chief Executive Officer of Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad said the KitKat Dark Borneo launch is part of their commitment to advancing local and sustainable sourcing through Nestlé Malaysia’s Farmer Connect program, which has now expanded into East Malaysia and goes beyond their current engagements involving chili, rice and coffee agricultural development.

This initiative makes tangible our vision of ‘better farming, better lives, and better cocoa’. Our approach includes implementing Regenerative Agriculture practices like agroforestry and intercropping, which helps to ensure the soil health for the long run, as well as develop the crop yield, which helps in boosting the local farmers’ income. We believe that KitKat Dark Borneo, in addition to a great tasting and high-quality confectionery, is a great example of how private-public partnerships can bring about positive change and improved opportunities for economic development for the local communities. Ultimately, KitKat’s promise of having a ‘good’ break gets its full significance when it benefits everyone, from the cocoa farmers to the many chocolate-loving Malaysians.

Juan Aranols, Chief Executive Officer of Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad

The launch event was graced by the presence of Minister of Plantation and Commodities Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, who said Malaysia has great potential to integrate into the global cocoa market, which is currently highly dependent on few cocoa producing countries in the world.

Our Ministry, together with the Malaysian Cocoa Board are committed to not only revitalising, but also enriching our cocoa industry. It is our task to reenergise the upstream and downstream sectors, ensuring that our approaches not only increase income generation but also instil environmental stewardship among our communities.

Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, Minister of Plantation and Commodities

At the launch event, KitKat also paid tribute to the hands that crafted the KitKat Dark Borneo – the cocoa farmers from both Sabah and Sarawak.

Image: Eshvar/TRP

Additionally, there was a demonstration of cocoa tree pruning and cocoa bean fermentation process by the farmers, which is the crucial step in producing high-quality cocoa.

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