This month, Barry Callebaut officially opened its Asia Pacific Business Excellence Center (APAC BEC) in Petaling Jaya, which will function as a center of excellence, providing support across the company’s financial and accounting services, information management and technology, customer service, and other corporate and shared service functions.

Petaling Jaya, a suburb of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, is a bustling city known as a hub for commerce and for its many popular attractions and delicious local delicacies. It is a densely populated area and just 10 km away from the capital city Kuala Lumpur. Today it has become one of Malaysia’s most industrialized and sustainable cities—and a sought-after residential area.

Barry Callebaut's new facility is home to more than 100 employees and is its third site in Malaysia. The company also operates a chocolate and cocoa factory in Port Klang and another cocoa factory in Pasir Gudang, Johor, both of which also house a research & development laboratory.

The Asia Pacific Business Excellence Center of Barry Callebaut

One of the main reasons why the company set up this new Center is to provide a better customer service experience through service optimization and automation. As Barry Callebaut continue to grow in the Region, the growth needs to be supported by a strong hub that will focus on improving its processes and efficiencies.

Prior to setting up APAC BEC, the company's strong customer service, information management, and finance teams were located at its Port Klang factory site, providing shared resources to the region. With this new Center, Barry Callebaut is highly confident that it can focus on and deliver the highest level of service while attracting the best talent.

When deciding on the location for this Center, Malaysia topped the chart. Malaysia is a country renowned as a financial and shared services hub, plus it has an extremely strong talent pool. Barry Callebaut's existing presence in the country and all these other factors led it to believe that it could build a business excellence center at pace and scale and deliver an improved customer experience across the Region.

Barry Callebaut’s history in Malaysia

The company's story in Malaysia started when it acquired a 60% stake in Kuala Lumpur Kepong Cocoa Products Sdn Bhd (KLK Cocoa), a subsidiary of Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad (a Malaysia-based multinational company involved in plantations, manufacturing, retailing, and property development) in 2008.

At the time of acquisition, KLK Cocoa was one of Asia Pacific’s leading cocoa and chocolate manufacturers. The company's partnership with them allowed it to tap into the strong local expertise in Asia Pacific and expand its  footprint in this Region.

Since the acquisition, KLK Cocoa has changed its name to what is known today as Barry Callebaut Malaysia Sdn Bhd. Then came Barry Callebaut's second manufacturing site in Malaysia in 2012, when it acquired Petra Foods' Cocoa Ingredients Division and integrated its cocoa factory in Pasir Gudang into its footprint.

Through KLK Cocoa, which started its business in 1991, Barry Callebaut can say that its history of creating cocoa and chocolate happiness for our customers in Malaysia goes back 30 years.

Providing end-to-end capabilities in the Asia Pacific Region

Barry Callebaut has operated in Asia Pacific since 1997. The new APAC BEC in Malaysia underlines its long-term commitment to this Region. Over the last few decades, the company has made significant investments in Malaysia and built up its presence in this country, from manufacturing to research and development of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products.

Barry Callebaut provides end-to-end capabilities in the region, encompassing its cocoa sourcing and logistics center, its two cocoa and chocolate application labs, its cocoa R&D center, and its cocoa and chocolate factories.