BELGIUM – World-leading cocoa and chocolate manufacturer The Barry Callebaut Group, has inaugurated its new Global Distribution Center in Lokeren, Belgium.
Dubbed ‘The Barry Callebaut Chocolate Box’, the new warehouse is touted as the world’s largest and most sustainable chocolate warehouse.
The warehouse will be the logistical hub for all packed Belgian chocolate and decorations products, produced in Barry Callebaut’s chocolate factories in Wieze and Halle, Belgium.
With a total investment amount of EUR 100 million, it is the largest investment Barry Callebaut has ever made in its operations network, the chocolate maker said in a statement.
The building spanning 12 football fields is strategically located at Lokeren near the E17 highway, facilitating carrier transport throughout Western Europe and with direct access to the Port of Antwerp for global shipping.
In the fully automated high bay warehouse, 41 meters high, up to 125 000 pallets can be stored at a constant temperature of 18°C.
Over 120 employees, of whom 40 are in newly created positions, are securing smooth operations enabling Barry to increase the efficiency of its global logistics and allowing the Group to serve customers even faster.
“The Chocolate Box is a milestone for Barry Callebaut. From Lokeren, all packed chocolate products – mainly under our Belgian chocolate brand Callebaut – will be shipped to the rest of the world,” said Peter Boone, CEO of the Barry Callebaut Group.
“The Chocolate Box is an example of how we execute our smart growth strategy, increasing efficiency and serving our customers in a more sustainable way.”
A leader in sustainable warehousing
The Chocolate Box is the first building in the Benelux with “BREEAM Outstanding” certification, the highest standard in sustainable logistics, making it one of the most sustainable Chocolate warehouses in the world.
The building is fully energy-positive and is fitted with some of the newest techniques in sustainable building including solar panels, air treatment groups, rainwater and heat recovery, humidity control, insulation, and geothermal energy.
The wellbeing of the employees, an essential part of the “BREEAM Outstanding” certification, is also ensured through access to natural daylight throughout the building, zones for relaxation and storage facilities for e-bikes.
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