Barry Callebaut factory in Moreton faces closure

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Barry Callebaut claims to be the largest manufacturer of chocolate and cocoa products
Barry Callebaut claims to be the largest manufacturer of chocolate and cocoa products

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Chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut has begun consulting with employees over the proposed closure of its Moreton factory in Merseyside, which employs 45 full-time staff.

In a statement issued on 1 April, a company spokesman said: “As part of Barry Callebaut’s strategy to continuously improve its operational efficiency and to better balance production capacity and demand in the UK, the group has started a consultation process on the potential closure of its chocolate factory in Moreton.

"This is not a course of action that has been taken lightly. Barry Callebaut has strong foundations for growth and the UK will remain a key market for future investment. 

“We understand that this will be a concerning time for all those that will be affected by this announcement and their families, and we will be supporting them through this difficult period.”

Significant decrease in volume

Food Manufacture ​understands that there has been a significant decrease in customer requirements and volume at the Moreton factory, which makes liquid and solid chocolate. Due to equipment and operational restrictions, the site cannot meet the operational costs needed to ensure the correct economies of scale.

The company believes the decisions it is making will ensure it can operate profitably and compete in the marketplace of the future and will enable it to be a more agile and responsive business.

Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, the Barry Callebaut Group makes chocolate and cocoa products for food and beverage manufacturers, artisans and chefs and the vending market. It was created from the merger between Belgian chocolate maker Callebaut and French chocolate producer Cacao Barry in 1996.

Employs 12,500 people

Following the integration of the acquired cocoa business from Petra Foods into the Barry Callebaut Group in June 2013, the company now claims to be the largest manufacturer of chocolate and cocoa products. It employs more than 12,500 people operating out of more than 40 countries and generated global annual sales of CHF 7.2bn in the 2021-2022 financial year, producing 2.2m tonnes.

The business is fully vertically integrated and operates more than 60 factories across the world.

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