- 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 building
Lokeren/Belgium, October 21, 2021 – The Barry Callebaut Group, world’s leading cocoa and chocolate manufacturer, inaugurated today “The Barry Callebaut Chocolate Box”, its new Global Distribution Center in Lokeren, Belgium. 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.
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.
Peter Boone, CEO of the Barry Callebaut Group, said: “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.”
Joost Uwents – CEO WDP: “This project is one of a kind, not only because of its size, but also because it is packed with innovative, sustainable techniques. Cleverly designed by the best minds, realized by construction partners with the highest standards. A gem of technology and innovation. An achievement to be proud of.”
Filip Anthuenis, Mayor of Lokeren: “We are delighted that a global player like Barry Callebaut is coming to our town. The company will form a beacon for our new business park, close to the E17 motorway, and by extension the whole town. The fact that Barry Callebaut chose our town will boost our economic dynamism, prosperity and employment. Lokeren is a small but very entrepreneurial place, where life is generous and good, and people are united by a warm and self-assured ‘Lokeren feeling’. Barry Callebaut could not have chosen a better home.”
1 BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) BREEAM 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.