Barry Callebaut officially opens its new Asia Pacific Business Excellence Center


Barry Callebaut officially opens its new Asia Pacific Business Excellence Center

The Business Excellence Center bundles shared services in Finance and other corporate services, such as Customer Service and Information Technology, for Region Asia Pacific.

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.

If you search on the internet for typical ‘things to do’ in Petaling Jaya, the Chocolate Museum will appear among the top choices. This city is not foreign to the chocolate and cocoa industry, and most certainly, our recent arrival in this city is much celebrated.

In January 2023, we officially opened our 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.

The facility is home to more than 100 employees and is our third site in Malaysia. We also operate 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 we set up this new Center is to provide a better customer service experience through service optimization and automation. As we continue to grow in the Region, this growth needs to be supported by a strong hub that will focus on improving our processes and efficiencies.

Prior to setting up APAC BEC, our strong customer service, information management and finance teams were located at our Port Klang factory site, providing shared resources to the region. With this new Center, we are highly confident that we 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. Our existing presence in the country and all these other factors led us to believe that we could build a business excellence center at pace and scale and deliver an improved customer experience across the Region.

Asia Pacific Business Excellence Center of Barry Callebaut
The Asia Pacific Business Excellence Center of Barry Callebaut

Barry Callebaut’s History in Malaysia

Our story in Malaysia started when we 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. Our partnership with them allowed us to tap into the strong local expertise in Asia Pacific and expand our footprint in this Region.

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

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

Barry Callebaut’s Pasir Gudang factory in Malaysia
Drone shot of solar panels at Barry Callebaut's cocoa factory in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia

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 our long-term commitment to this Region. Over the last few decades, we have made significant investments in Malaysia and built up our presence in this country, from manufacturing to research and development of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products.

We are proud to provide end-to-end capabilities in the region, encompassing our cocoa sourcing and logistics center, our two cocoa and chocolate application labs, our cocoa R&D center, and our cocoa and chocolate factories.

Artisanal chocolate creations - Barry Callebaut
Artisanal chocolate creations
Christiana Wijaya

Christiana Wijaya

Working as Manager of Corporate Communications of Barry Callebaut in Asia Pacific. Native Indonesian and naturalized Singaporean, she enjoys sipping a cup of tea and chasing sunsets, literally. An avid runner, she appreciates and welcomes a running buddy any time of the day.

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