Nestlé and Cargill partner to transform cocoa husks into low-carbon fertilizer

September 14, 2023

In the UK, Nestlé is launching a pilot to assess whether cocoa shells from a confectionery site in York can be used to create a low-carbon fertilizer.

The two-year trial is designed to evaluate the fertilizer’s performance on crop production, soil health and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. If successful, up to 7,000 tonnes of low-carbon fertilizer could be produced and offered to farmers in Nestlé’s UK wheat supply chain. This amount of fertilizer equates to around 25 percent of Nestlé UK’s total fertilizer use for wheat.

The cocoa shells are supplied by Cargill, which processes the cocoa at the York facility to become key ingredients in products like KitKat and Aero. A trial volume of cocoa shell has been processed and pelletized by Swindon-based CCm Technologies.

The trials, which were designed and are being overseen by York-based Fera Science Ltd., are currently taking place on arable farms in Suffolk and Northamptonshire.

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