UK – Guan Chong Berhad (GCB), a Malaysian-owned cocoa manufacturer, is expanding its presence in the UK with plans to build a new ‘world-class’ cocoa and chocolate production factory. 

The company has contracted Clegg Food Projects to carry out construction works at the former Philips Avent facility in Glemsford, Suffolk 

Work has begun to part-demolish the previous facility, which made products supporting infant and toddler nutrition. 

This will be followed by the construction of a new factory to enhance processing and manufacturing facilities on site.  

The plant will produce cocoa butter, cocoa powder, liquor, and chocolate, according to a statement from the company. 

The 17-acre site redevelopment will include new access, car parking, manufacturing facilities, warehousing, and a biomass boiler to supply renewable energy for the production process.  

The factory will also feature solar panels and electric car charging points.  

Oliver Jenkins, business development manager at Clegg Food Projects, said: “We are delighted that GCB appointed us to oversee and construct its new factory as it enters into the UK market for the first time.   

GCB’s vision is to be a market leading cocoa supplier and the new factory will feature efficient and sustainable processing equipment to help make this a reality.” 

With its move to the UK market, GCB cocoa pledged to invest significantly and create jobs for the local area.  

Brian Bowen, general manager at GCB Cocoa UK, added: “We are very pleased to have appointed Clegg Food Projects as our Principal Contractor. 

Their understanding of what we need to achieve and the solutions they have provided will significantly assist helping GCB create its manufacturing footprint in the UK.”  

GCB cocoa, which was established in Asia when it began trading cocoa beans in the 1980s, is principally involved in the manufacturing of cocoa-derived food ingredients. 

Meanwhile, South African food company Moorcroft Foods, which makes dried meat snacks Biltong and Droewors has announced it is establishing a manufacturing facility in Newtownards, Northern Ireland. 

Gavin Moorcroft, owner and managing director of Moorcroft Foods said: “With Invest NI’s support and ongoing advice, we have invested in a range of equipment, which will help us to manufacture our quality product in Northern Ireland and share our world-class South African meat heritage throughout this part of the world.” 

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