UK – Barry Callebaut has opened a new Chocolate Academy in Banbury, UK that will provide customers, food manufacturers, as well as artisans and professional chocolatiers, with improved facilities and support for training.

The revamped Chocolate Academy Center will also acts as a hub for exploring and innovating on the latest trends, techniques and recipes in chocolate.

Barry Callebaut says that this will also help to meet the growing demand for innovative and high-quality chocolate products in the UK.

The Center in Banbury is part of a global network of 23 Chocolate Academy Centers where artisans and professionals who want to improve their skills in chocolate and learn about new trends, techniques, and recipes are trained.

The company revealed that in fiscal year 2018/19, over 60,000 chocolate aficionados participated in these training sessions.

Speaking during the inauguration, Vincenzo Mangano, Sales Director Gourmet UK & Ireland said: “Today’s chocolate consumer is on a constant hunt for new and innovative tastes and recipes.

“With the brand new Chocolate Academy Center Banbury and a fantastic team, we renew our promise to our customers to share our expertise and work even closely together to bring these premium and exciting innovations to the market.

The opening of the facility is also part of the company’s continuous expansion and ambitious growth strategy in one of Europe’s biggest chocolate confectionery markets in volume terms.

Richard Terme, General Manager UK says: “The UK is a huge growth market, bursting with opportunity.

“The inauguration of this new Chocolate Academy Center in Banbury marks yet another milestone in our successful growth story in the UK and over the next years, we will continue to invest in our business and strengthen our collaboration with food manufacturing and artisanal customers in the UK.”

Meanwhile, the company has also announced that Massimo Garavaglia President of Barry Callebaut for EMEA region will be leaving the company on April 30, 2020.

Massimo Garavaglia will leave Barry Callebaut after nearly 16 years on the Executive Committee to join De’Longhi S.p.A., an international home appliances and coffee machine company headquartered in Italy, as Director and Chief Executive Officer.

The Board of Directors of the chocolatier has appointed Andrew Fleming, VP Global Accounts, and Rogier van Sligter, VP EMEA, in a dual leadership as Co-Presidents EMEA and members of the Executive Committee, effective May 1, 2020.