Chocolate supplier sets out ambitious expansion plan

Belocade is investing €21m (£17.1m) in an expansion that will increase capacity by 50% amid plans to grow turnover to €5bn by 2030.

The chocolate producer, owned by parent company Puratos, aims to hit €2bn turnover by 2018 and, while distributing to 69 countries, is focusing most heavily on the Middle East and Asian markets.

Two production lines will be added at the factory outside Brussels, Belgium: one for the production of liquid chocolate and one for packaged chocolate. The warehouse will also be enlarged to hold 9,000 tonnes, up from 3,000t.

The existing buildings will be 7,500sq m larger to house the additional equipment and storage space, covering 36,000sq m.

The first phase will entail the additional line for liquid chocolate, providing 15% extra capacity while the line for packaged goods will add 30% capacity – in the long term increasing the factory’s total capacity by 50%. An extra 20 people will be hired to work on-site.

“The centralisation and expansion of the warehouse will not only enable us to produce more and deliver our products even faster to our customers; the expansion of the production lines also means we can respond even more flexibly when asked to make chocolate specifications,” said site manager Luc De Norre.

Chief executive Daniel Malcorp said chocolate was 25% of the business and it was investing more heavily in that side as factories in other production lines had already been developed.

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