Most of the investment will be made this year with the upgrades becoming fully operation next spring.
A spokesman told ConfectioneryNews.com that the investment was key to meeting increased demand. “As a growing company, we secured new volumes in the Western Europe region in the recent past. In addition, we saw nice growth rates in our Gourmet and Specialties Products business worldwide. The majority of our Gourmet chocolates sold all around the world are produced in Western Europe,” he said.
“To continuously support the growth of our Gourmet business also outside Western Europe we have to build the respective capacities. And thirdly, following the recent divestment of our European consumer business, we want to further optimize and adapt our factory network in Western Europe.”
The firm’s Gourmet chocolates include: Cacao Barry-, Callebaut- and Carma-branded products.
Massimo Garavaglia, president of Barry Callebaut Western Europe, said: "With the planned investments, we will not only strengthen our industrial footprint in Western Europe, the company's largest business region. We are also investing in our network of Chocolate Academies to support the further growth of our Gourmet business." Responding to increased demand for solid products, Barry Callebaut is expanding its chocolate molding capacities by building a new line in Banbury in the UK and Meulan in France.
The firm also plans to upgrade its chocolate factory in Banbury by incorporating latest technology and improved service capabilities.
As part of the expansion of its European footprint, the firm will build a new Callebaut Chocolate Academy in Wieze, Belgium and is refurbishing its Cacao Barry Chocolate Academy in Meulan.
It also plans a new centre of competence for chocolate decorations at its specialty and decorations plant in Zundert, The Netherlands. To be called Decoration Inspiration Centre, the new facility will offer customers the opportunity to develop customized decoration products for their specific application needs.
This latest investment will add to the firm’s current Chocolate Academy on the site.
“All around the globe, our Chocolate Academies are teaching and training centers for artisans and professionals, including pastry chefs, confectioners, bakers and caterers, who want to improve their working skills in chocolate and learn about new trends, techniques and recipes,” the spokesman told ConfectioneryNews.com.
“Our technical advisors, the teaching staff at our Chocolate Academies, offer practical and theoretical courses for these craftsmen, of which more than 500 attend our events every week.”
Courses at the Chocolate Academies include: Beginner, advanced and specialized chocolate classes on chocolate processing and a range of techniques and applications. Those include tempering, molding, enrobing and sculpting to decorations and flavorings.
The new Callebaut Chocolate Academy in Wieze, Belgium will open between next spring and summer.
The refurbished Cacao Barry Chocolate Academy in Meulan, France will open early next year.
Barry Callebaut’s latest investments follow its divestment of its European consumer business. In July the firm announced the sale of its European consumer business Stollwerck to the Belgian Baronie Group.
The share deal comprised the Stollwerck Group which included five factories in Germany, Belgium and Switzerland.
The transaction also included a long-term supply agreement between Baronie Group and Barry Callebaut for the supply of about 25,000t of liquid chocolate each year plus the supply of cocoa beans and semi-finished products.
Financial details of the transaction were not made public.