Barry Callebaut will be investing around £15.4m ($24m) in its worldwide factory facilities, after signing a new long-term global partnership with Unilever.

An announcement by the two companies this morning (23 January) detailed plans for Barry Callebaut to provide 70% of Unilever’s international cocoa and chocolate products, becoming the company’s strategic global supplier and innovation partner. As a result, Barry Callebaut will be doubling its current volume of products.

Juergen Steinemann, CEO of Barry Callebaut, said: “We are honoured that we can announce this long-term partnership with Unilever today and be part of their ‘Partner to Win’ strategy. This agreement is based on a successful longstanding collaboration between our two companies. Once again, it confirms that, by living our four strategic pillars – expansion, cost leadership, innovation and sustainable cocoa – we can accomplish and deliver on the requirements of our customers.”

The partnership will include a wide-ranging joint business development plan, involving close co-operation across areas of innovation, sustainable sourcing, capacity expansion and value improvement. Barry Callebaut has also been working closely with Unilever to meet its sustainable cocoa sourcing commitments.

Kevin Havelock, president of Unilever’s Refreshment Category, said: “Our ice cream category has a significant role to play in Unilever’s sustainable growth model, to deliver our ambition of doubling the size of our business while reducing our environmental impact. Our leadership position has been built on great taste, innovation and increasingly sustainable ingredients. We need partners like Barry Callebaut to help us extend this position and achieve our overall aim.”

Both companies have an existing relationship, including the development and launch of Unilever’s Magnum ice cream brand throughout international regions last year.