Cargill is opening a newly expanded chocolate facility in Mouscron, Belgium, with hopes of reaffirming its commitment to the future success of its customers.

The €35-million investment will double production capacity for dark and milk liquid chocolate, drops and chunks, as well as lactose-free dark chocolate. And Cargill says confectionery, biscuit, ice cream and cereal manufacturers will all benefit from it’s new increased supply of Belgian chocolate.

The extension comprises additional production lines, storage tanks, and warehouse space, and is complemented by new social rooms for operators and office space. And, the new building has been designed with innovative high-tech equipment aiming to reduce energy consumption by up to 30 percent.

The state-of-the-art facility was officially opened during a ceremony featuring the Minister President of the Fédération Bruxelles Wallonie, Mr. Rudy Demotte; Mrs. Inge Demeyere, managing director of Cargill’s chocolate business Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia; as well as local dignitaries and customers.

“Our customers are turning to us to provide market insights, creative solutions, high quality products and reliable supply. With the extension of our facility, we are now able to open up to numerous new opportunities, enabling us to address the consumer trends of the future,” says Inge Demeyere. “We are building on a strong heritage in cocoa and chocolate together with our customers. This is the result of a dedicated focus on innovation and a unique combination of our food ingredients portfolio.”

The chocolate facility in Mouscron opened in 2003, and about 150 people work on site. Together with the other sites — in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, the Netherlands, UK and the USA — Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business has a strong network and capabilities to serve a wide range of customers.

Cargill in Belgium has more than 1,000 employees in nine locations, including: Antwerp (two locations), Izegem, Gent, Herent, Vilvoorde, Mechelen, Mouscron and Villers-le-Bouillet. The company has a number of different and diverse operations in the country, including the production of food ingredients and the processing, distribution and trading of a variety of agricultural products.

Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business offers the food industry a wide range of both standard and customised cocoa and chocolate ingredients for use in delicious bakery, confectionery and dairy applications all over the world. The company’s product range includes high quality Gerkens cocoa powders, chocolate, coatings, fillings, cocoa liquors and cocoa butters.