● World’s largest chocolate warehouse in the world is a unique partnership between Barry Callebaut, WDP and Stad Lokeren with an investment of 100 million euros
● The new 60,000 m² building will be BREAAM Outstanding certified, following the highest standards for sustainable development. It represents WDP’s largest logistics project
● The new website www.chocolade-magazijn.be will also offer updates and further information on the progress of the construction
Zaventem/Belgium, February 11, 2020 – Barry Callebaut, the world's largest manufacturer of cocoa and chocolate products, was awarded the Foreign Investment Trophy yesterday evening. The award was given as part of an initiative of the Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT), a government agency of the Flanders region in Belgium which supports foreign business in Flanders and Flemish businesses abroad.
The winning project is Barry Callebaut’s new Global Distribution Center (GDC) in Lokeren, developed by WDP and leased by Barry Callebaut. Swiss-listed company, Barry Callebaut was awarded Best Foreign Investment in Flanders, beating four other nominees, DAF Trucks (the Netherlands / US), Heyaru (India / Dubai), Hologic (US) and ICO (Japan). Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon handed the top prize to the project delegation which consisted of representatives from Barry Callebaut, WDP and Stad Lokeren.
Last summer, WDP, Stad Lokeren and Barry Callebaut announced the construction of the world’s largest chocolate distribution center through a unique partnership. Last Wednesday, the groundbreaking ceremony was celebrated at the new site in Lokeren. The project amounts to an investment of around EUR 100 million. Located in the new E17/4 business park in Lokeren, Belgium, Barry Callebaut intends to centralize its global logistics activities in Belgium in a 60,000 m² building, a size equivalent to 12 football fields. In addition to optimizing the efficiency of the flow of goods by centralizing the storing of all packaged chocolate, the new warehouse will also boast a direct connection to the port of Antwerp for global distribution. The logistics hub will be fully energy-neutral and will be BREEAM Outstanding-certified. In addition, the new warehouse will be fully equipped with, amongst others, solar panels, materials with a low life-cycle cost, geothermal energy-charging stations for electric vehicles and facilities for cyclists.
WDP will develop this unique, logistics warehouse site with the support of its strong network of partners like Alheembouw, Willy Naessens, SSI Schaefer, AVVO architects, Istema, Miebach and Sureal. Completion is planned for the summer of 2021. Barry Callebaut will be leasing this new distribution center on a long-term contract.
Together with the kick-off of the construction works last week, a campaign named “Largest chocolate warehouse in the world’ was launched. Through this campaign, real-time information will be provided on the development of the new site.
Masha Vis-Mertens, VP Operations and Supply Chain Organization at Barry Callebaut, says, “This award recognizes the hard work put in by the entire project team and the unique partnership we have with our partners, WDP and the city of Lokeren. The warehouse will allow us to make our operations more efficient and improve our service. From the distribution center in Lokeren we will be able to stock our packaged products and have them shipped across the world. In other words, it is our window to the future and through it, we will continue to share our passion and expertise for Belgian chocolate with the rest of the world”.
Kristof De Witte, General Manager of WDP BELUX & FR, “We are proud that we can develop the world’s largest chocolate warehouse in collaboration with our partners. This award emphasizes the unique nature of this investment in Flanders, not only for its scale, but also for its high-tech investments. We are delighted that the delicious chocolate from Barry Callebaut will be distributed throughout one of our sites”.
Filip Anthuenis, Mayor of Lokeren: "Stad Lokeren is proud of Barry Callebaut! This Foreign Investment Trophy proves this project is truly unique for our city. Congratulations to the solid and energetic group of Barry Callebaut employees and partners”.
Stefan Walgraeve, Municipal Councillor, for industrial development in Lokeren: "Barry Callebaut will be the first operational company at our new industrial zone E17/4, of which ¼ of the net business surface takes around 46 ha. By doing so, Barry Callebaut will be the first ambassador of the new industrial zone, which is already sold out even before the road works have started. A true success story, thanks to the unique location in the heart of Flanders, close to the economic hubs Antwerp, Ghent and Brussels. To remind: the “chocolate” product is really omnipresent in Lokeren, with many businesses being active in this sector. Barry Callebaut is the apotheosis of the Chocolate Valley of Lokeren.
Winner - Chocolate king Barry Callebaut makes Flanders its sweet spot for global distribution | Fit Trophy