Cargill has announced fresh investment in a liquid chocolate production line in its Mouscron facility in Belgium.
The €12m ($14m) spend increases the company’s capacity to produce milk and dark chocolate, and will also create up to 10 new local jobs when it opens at the end of this year.
Cargill says the overall investment of €47m ($54m) in recent years is a response to growing customer demand for high quality chocolates tailor-made to individual customer specifications.
Inge Demeyere, managing director for Cargill’s chocolates and compound activities in Europe, said: “Indulgence is a key driver of the demand for premium chocolate. With the new production line, we will be able to better meet Belgium’s chocolate needs – and offer more quality Belgian chocolate to customers in other global markets who want to benefit from the country’s world-class reputation. At Cargill, we are fully committed to our long-term growth in the Belgian chocolate market.”
Cargill currently employs approximately 150 people in production and related services in Mouscron. Belgium has been a focal point of Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business for many years, “thanks to the country’s iconic chocolate production tradition combined with a strong focus on safety and product integrity,” the company said in a statement.
The Mouscron facility processes dark and milk chocolate in liquid and solid form for manufacturers active in confectionery, biscuits, bakery, ice-cream and artisanal applications. The company has another chocolate site in Belgium, Antwerp, producing liquid and solid chocolate.