11th February 2020 – This evening Barry Callebaut, the world’s largest manufacturer of cocoa and chocolate products, won the Foreign Investment Trophy, an initiative of Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) – and we’re incredibly proud of it!
The project that won the prize is the new Global Distribution Centre (GDC) in Lokeren that will be developed and leased by WDP.
As a company listed in Switzerland, Barry Callebaut won the award ahead of 4 other nominees: DAF Trucks (the Netherlands/US), Heyaru (India/Dubai), Hologic (US) and ICO (Japan). Flemish Minister-President, Jan Jambon, presented the prize to a delegation made up of representatives from the various partners involved.
“This award is a great acknowledgment for the project team and the cherry on the cake for our unique partnership with WDP and the City of Lokeren. This warehouse is designed to make our operations more efficient, as well as improve our service. We will assemble and ship our packaged products from Lokeren to the rest of the world. In other words, it is our window on the future, from which we aim to share our passion and expertise for Belgian chocolate with the rest of the world.” - Masha Vis-Mertens, VP Operations and Supply Chain Organisation at Barry Callebaut
“We are proud to have been able to create the world’s biggest chocolate warehouse with all of our partners. This award underlines the unique character of this investment in Flanders, both in terms of its sheer scale and because of its high-tech investments. We are delighted that delicious Barry Callebaut chocolate has now found a home at one of our sites.” - Kristof De Witte, General Manager of WDP BELUX & FR
“The City of Lokeren is proud of Barry Callebaut! This Foreign Investment Trophy proves that this huge project is unique for our city. All our congratulations go to the tight-knit and energetic group at Barry Callebaut staff and partners.” - Filip Anthuenis, Mayor of Lokeren.
“Barry Callebaut will be the first company to be operational at our new E17/4 industrial park, taking up one-quarter of the net business area of approximately 46 hectares. This makes Barry Callebaut the lead ambassador for this new business park, which was sold out even before the first road was laid. It’s a real success story, thanks to its unique location as an industrial growth hub in the economic heart of Flanders, close to the other business centres of Antwerp, Ghent and Brussels. And we shouldn’t forget: ‘chocolate’ as a product has a great presence here, with numerous other companies operating in the sector. Barry Callebaut will be the crowning glory of our Lokeren ‘Chocolate Valley’.” - Stefan Walgraeve, alderman for industrial development in Lokeren.