The Barry Callebaut Group, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Serbia and the City of Novi Sad to construct its first chocolate factory in Southeastern Europe on Thursday, April 18.
The state-of-the-art facility will be located in Novi Sad, Serbia, about 90 km northwest of the country’s capital, Belgrade, and is planned to have an initial annual production capacity of over 50,000 tons. Total investment volume over a period of five years is projected to amount to EUR 50 million (CHF 56.7 million), the company says in a press release.
The factory is expected to be operational by 2021. Before the signing, the Barry Callebaut delegation was welcomed by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
Antoine de Saint-Affrique, Chief Executive Officer of the Barry Callebaut Group, said that Barry Callebaut had been very successful in Southeastern Europe in the preceding years and that Novi Sad was the perfect location for them.
– It is the second largest city in Serbia, it has a reputable university and thus offers us access to the resources we need to realize our plans. With the new factory in Novi Sad, in line with our ‘smart growth’ strategy, we will be able to expand our footprint in the region and supply current as well as new customers with a wide range of chocolate, compound and filling products. The factory will serve as a regional hub from which Barry Callebaut can address the rapidly growing chocolate markets of Southeastern Europe – Saint-Affrique said.
Aleksandar Vucic, President of Serbia, said that “we are very happy and proud to welcome an export oriented market leader into Serbia’s food industry”.
– Not only will Barry Callebaut bring state-of-the-art technology and expertise to our country but also investments and employment for our people. Serbia will do its utmost to make this a success – Vucic said.