Located in the northern town of Lokeren, the global distribution center (GDC) will improve efficiency and yield by ‘consolidating activities currently located across several locations in the region of Aalst.’ (Aalst falls within an hour’s drive of Ghent to the west, Antwerp to the east, and Brussels to the south.)
The GDC will also become a logistics hub for the Barry Callebaut’s global business, including a ‘vast majority’ of products in its Gourmet & Specialties and Decorations division as well as solid chocolate for food manufacturers.
“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 of the European and Middle East region for Barry Callebaut.
“The new GDC 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,” he added.
Built by Warehouses De Pauw, a data-focused builder, the facility will follow strict BREEAM [Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method] regulations, an assessment method for sustainable architecture. Buildings must meet requirements in a variety of metrics, such as energy consumption, land and water use, waste, pollution, and materials. Already used in 80 countries, BREEAM has registered more than 2.2m buildings and in June announced further expansion in the US.
Barry Callebaut, per its Forever Chocolate framework, has committed to becoming ‘carbon-positive’ by 2025.
The Lokeren facility will boast solar panels, geothermal energy capacity, charging stations for electric vehicles, as well as bike racks and amenities for cyclists, according to the release.
With nearly €6bn ($7.1bn) in annual sales, the supplier employs more than 11,500 people in 60 production facilities worldwide.