BELGIUM – Leading chocolate and cocoa producer, Barry Callebaut is set to build a new global distribution center in Lokeren, Belgium to increase logistical efficiencies in the market.

The new facility will incorporate a low bay and a fully automated high bay warehouse sitting on 60,000 m² space.

Expected to strengthen the company’s activities in Belgium, the distribution center will serve as a logistics hub for the global distribution of chocolate products it produces.

Barry said the facility further consolidates its activities across several locations in the region of Aalst, Belgium, serving the Gourmet & Specialties and Decorations segment, as well as solid chocolate for food manufacturers customers.

This will optimize and increase the efficiency of Barry Callebaut’s product distribution.

“The global expansion of our products has increased rapidly in recent years, and we anticipate that this trend will continue in the future,” said Massimo Garavaglia, President Region EMEA of the Barry Callebaut Group.

“The new Global Distribution Center is an adequate solution that responds to our growth, increases efficiency for our customers as well as employees and guarantees improved mobility at the same time.

“In addition, the development of the GDC is a textbook example of the implementation of our ‘smart growth’ strategy.

The warehouse is expected to start operations in the third quarter of 2021 and will be rented by Barry Callebaut on a long-term contract.

It will be developed by Warehouses De Pauw (WDP), the real estate investment company with a target to create more vacancies in addition to 85 people already employed by Barry Callebaut.

Delivering on Forever Chocolate agenda

The new hub will be Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREAAM) Outstanding certified and fully energy neutral.

It will include investments in solar panels, use of materials with low life-cycle cost, geothermal energy, charging stations for electric vehicles, and extensive facilities for cyclists.

This supports the company’s goal to become carbon positive by 2025 in line with its sustainability strategy: Forever Chocolate.

In a race to achieve its cocoa sustainability goals, Barry said it has established traceability for a third of its global cocoa volume with a goal to source 100% of the group’s ingredients sustainably by 2025.

In Cote d’Ivoire, the company inaugurated a new state-of-the-art processing unit to expand its cocoa processing capabilities.