• New Global Distribution Center in Lokeren, Belgium, home for all packed chocolate shipments from chocolate factories in Wieze and Halle to Western Europe and the world;
• Largest investment ever in Barry Callebaut’s operations network centralizes and increases the efficiency of global logistics;
• First building in the Benelux which is “BREEAM Outstanding” certified, the highest norm in sustainable building1.
The Chocolate Box is the world’s largest chocolate warehouse and will be the logistical hub for all packed Belgian chocolate and decorations products, produced in Barry Callebaut’s chocolate factories in Wieze and Halle, Belgium.
The Chocolate Box is the result of a successful partnership between Barry Callebaut, the real estate developer WDP and the city of Lokeren. With a total investment amount of EUR 100 million, it is the largest investment Barry Callebaut has ever made in its operations network. The Chocolate Box increases the efficiency of Barry Callebaut’s global logistics and will allow the Group to serve customers even faster.
At Lokeren, the warehouse Is ideally located: near the E17 highway, facilitating carrier transport throughout Western Europe and with direct access to the Port of Antwerp for global shipping. Construction began in the summer of 2019. Less than 24 months later, the building, spanning a total surface of 12 football fields, was completed. In the fully automated high bay warehouse, 41 meters high, up to 125 000 pallets can be stored at a constant temperature of 18°C. Over 120 employees, of whom 40 are in newly created positions, are securing smooth operations.
1. BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) BREEAM (breeam.com) is a sustainability certificate related to the performance of a building throughout its life cycle. BREEAM is a well established sustainability label for buildings in Europe. BREEAM applies a multi-criteria approach: the certification process examines not only the energy consumption of a property, but also land use, ecology, the construction process, water use, waste, pollution, transport, materials, health and comfort. A building can receive an overall rating of Acceptable, Pass, Good, Very Good, Excellent or Outstanding.
First building in the Benelux with “BREEAM Outstanding” certification
The Barry Callebaut Chocolate Box is not only the world’s largest chocolate warehouse, but also the most sustainable. The Chocolate Box is the first building in the Benelux with a “BREEAM Outstanding” certification, the highest standard in sustainable logistics. The building is fully energy-positive, as it can completely fulfill its own energy consumption. In order to achieve this certificate, the newest techniques in sustainable building have been used: solar panels, air treatment groups, rain water and heat recovery, humidity control, insulation and geothermal energy. The wellbeing of the employees, an essential part of the “BREEAM Outstanding” certification, is ensured through access to natural daylight throughout the building, zones for relaxation and storage facilities for e-bikes.
"The Chocolate Box is a milestone for Barry Callebaut. From Lokeren, all packed chocolate products mainly under our Belgian chocolate brand Callebaut will be shipped to the rest of the world. The Chocolate Box is an example of how we execute our smart growth strategy, increasing efficiency and serving our customers in a more sustainable way."
Peter Boone, CEO of the Barry Callebaut Group
About Barry Callebaut Group
With annual sales of about CHF 6.9 billion (EUR 6.4 billion / USD 7.1 billion) in fiscal year 2019/20, the Zurich- based Barry Callebaut Group (barry-callebaut.com) is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products from sourcing and processing cocoa beans to producing the finest chocolates, including chocolate fillings, decorations and compounds. The Group runs more than 60 production facilities worldwide and employs a diverse and dedicated global workforce of more than 12,000 people.
The Barry Callebaut Group serves the entire food industry, from industrial food manufacturers to artisanal and professional users of chocolate, such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs, bakers, hotels, restaurants or caterers. The global brands catering to the specific needs of these Gourmet customers are Callebaut® and Cacao Barry®, Carma® and the decorations specialist Mona Lisa®.
The Barry Callebaut Group is committed to make sustainable chocolate the norm by 2025 to help ensure future supplies of cocoa and improve farmer livelihoods. It supports the Cocoa Horizons Foundation in its goal to shape a sustainable cocoa and chocolate future.