Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of cocoa and chocolate products, today laid the foundation stone for its new state-of-the-art chocolate factory located at 60 km from Moscow in Chekhov, Russia, during a special ceremony with local dignitaries. The new factory is scheduled to become operational at the beginning of 2007. The total investment is about CHF 25 million (EUR 17 million). The production facility will have a capacity of more than 25,000 tonnes and employ about 70 people once it is running at full capacity.
“We have decided to build this new facility near Moscow to be closer to our rapidly growing customer base in Russia,” said Patrick De Maeseneire, CEO of Barry Callebaut. “In the whole of Europe, Russia has the largest market potential. International market intelligence provider Euromonitor forecasts that, by 2009, the chocolate consumption in Russia will be higher than in the U.K. Russia presents a great market opportunity to us that we’d like to capture.”
Up to now, Barry Callebaut has been the largest importer of industrial and specialty chocolate to Russia from its plant in Poland. “Chocolate sales for us in Russia to national and international food manufacturers as well as chocolatiers and pastry chefs nearly quadrupled between 2000 and 2005. This is what led us to build our own factory now,” said Patrick De Maeseneire.
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With annual sales of more than CHF 4 billion for fiscal year 2004/05, Zurich-based Barry Callebaut is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa, chocolate and confectionery products – from the cocoa bean to the finished product on the store shelf. Barry Callebaut operates more than 30 production facilities in 24 countries and employs more than 8,000 people. The company serves the entire food industry, from food manufacturers to professional users of chocolate (such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs or bakers), to global retailers. It also provides a comprehensive range of services in the fields of product development, processing, training and marketing.