According to Jean-Philippe Michaux, CFO and head of the sustainability steering committee at Puratos, the facility will also be an “exemplar of sustainable chocolate production.”
The company hopes that by 2023, Belcolade will be reconfirmed as "the chocolate of choice for chocolatiers, pâtissiers and bakers."
“With consumer demand for sustainable Belgian chocolate rapidly accelerating, and as the only Belgian family-owned producer of that for professionals here, it was an obvious move for us to expand in Erembodegem,” said Youri Dumont, Director of the Chocolate Business Unit at Puratos.
“We will nearly double our Belcolade output over the next five years, with customers benefitting from inspiring innovation brought to market faster than ever before.”
The development of Belcolade is attributable to Puratos’ Cacao- Trace programme and the high-quality cocoa ingredients it provides.
In line with Puratos’ commitment to future generations, the entire Belcolade site will become carbon neutral. It will run 100% on renewable electricity and therefore be completely free from fossil fuels, the company said. The facility will also source 90% of its water from collected rainwater. These measures are fundamental to the company’s pledge to reach carbon neutrality by 2025, according to Michaux.
Dumont said: “Back in the ‘80s, Puratos decided to protect one of the most precious elements of Belgium’s culinary heritage, Belgian chocolate. We are very excited about this expansion and the benefits it will bring to our valued customers, partners, employees and the local area, recruiting around 100 colleagues in the coming years."
Puratos is an international group that offers a full range of innovative products and application expertise for artisans, industry, retailers and food service customers in the bakery, patisserie and chocolate sectors. The company was founded in 1919 and has 9,500 employees.