Cargill has officially opened its newly expanded Mouscron, Belgium chocolate facility in order to boost supply of Belgian chocolate to meet the needs of its manufacturing customers.

The expansion, a $39 million investment, doubles production capacity for its products that include dark and milk liquid chocolate, drops and chunks and lactose-free dark chocolate. Cargill said the expansion also includes additional production lines, storage tanks and warehouse space and is complemented by new social rooms for operators and office space. Designed with innovative energy saving equipment, the new building aims to reduce energy consumption by 30 percent. The chocolate facility in Mouscron opened in 2003 and employs about 150 people.

 “Our customers are turning to us to provide market insights, creative solutions, high quality products and reliable supply. With the extension of our facility, we are now able to open up to numerous new opportunities, enabling us to address the consumer trends of the future,” said Inge Demeyere, managing director of Cargill’s chocolate business Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. “We are building on a strong heritage in cocoa and chocolate together with our customers. This is the result of a dedicated focus on innovation and a unique combination of our food ingredients portfolio.”