The Puratos Group announces it has begun a major expansion at its Belcolade facility in Erembodegem/Belgium. As well as significantly increasing capacity and boosting flexibility to better serve customers worldwide, the expanded Erembodegem site will enable accelerated innovation. Importantly, it will also be an “exemplar of sustainable chocolate production,” according to Jean-Philippe Michaux, CFO and head of the sustainability steering committee at Puratos. Upon completion of the first phase in 2023, Belcolade will be reconfirmed as the chocolate of choice for chocolatiers, pâtissiers and bakers.
“With consumer demand for sustainable Belgian chocolate rapidly accelerating, and as the only Belgian family-owned producer of that for professionals here, it was an obvious move for us to expand in Erembodegem,” states Youri Dumont, Director of the Chocolate Business Unit at Puratos. “We will nearly double our Belcolade output over the next five years, with customers benefitting from inspiring innovation brought to market faster than ever before”.
The development of Belcolade is attributable to Puratos’ Cacao-Trace programme and the high-quality cocoa ingredients it provides. According to the company, more than any other comparable sourcing programme, Cacao-Trace benefits the cocoa farmers, who receive a better price for their quality beans and an extra chocolate bonus for every kilo of Cacao-Trace chocolate sold.
In line with Puratos’ commitment to future generations, the entire Belcolade site will become carbon neutral. It will run 100 % on renewable electricity and therefore be completely free from fossil fuels. The facility will also source 90 % of its water from collected rainwater. These measures are fundamental to the company’s pledge to reach carbon neutrality by 2025, according to Jean-Philippe Michaux.