Puratos marks sustainability milestone with new carbon-neutral Belgian Belcolade chocolate factory

A key sustainability breakthrough has been made by Puratos’s Belgian chocolate brand, Belcolade, after opening its advanced carbon neutral chocolate factory offering premium product ranges for professional industry customers, writes Neill Barston.

According to the company, the new facility synergises taste expertise with strong ethical principles providing high-quality product ranges that also help empower its customers to make steps towards delivering more environmentally-friendly business operations.

As the firm explained, its focus on taste and sustainability is revealed by findings from a recent Taste Tomorrow study, which highlights that while taste remains the primary purchasing criterion for consumers, the sustainability of the chocolate is a key differentiating factor for their purchase with 69% of UK respondents interested in food products coming from sustainable farming methods.

“Becolade’s expansion is driven by its steadfast commitment to sustainability”, according to Pierre Tossut, CEO of Puratos. “Our brand drives innovation, ensuring that chocolatiers, pâtissiers, and bakers have access to exceptional chocolate choices that mirror their values,” he says.

“Our new carbon-neutral factory embodies this commitment. This pioneering factory will operate on 100% renewable electricity – eliminating the need for fossil fuels. Thanks to extensive underground rainwater storage, it will source 90% of its water from collected rainwater. Belcolade has made substantial investments to enhance their energy efficiency, reliability, and resilience against droughts by revamping all technical energy installations, storage, and distribution. Thanks to heat recovery and the utilisation of cutting-edge heat pump technology, the brand’s heat production process now consumes five times less energy than before.”

Moreover, as the business noted, the Cacao-Trace Sustainable Cocoa programme is another example of Belcolade’s commitment to a more sustainable future throughout the entire cocoa chain. “The Cacao-Trace programme not only produce the best quality cocoa, but also supports farmers worldwide by providing better prices and an extra Chocolate Bonus. Additionally, we improve the environment and living conditions of our farmers’ communities by building schools, health centres, and offering drinkable water equipment.” explains Pierre Tossut. Alongside these impactful sustainable initiatives, Belcolade’s new 100% recycle-ready packaging reflects the company’s determination to reduce its environmental footprint and make a positive impact on the planet. “Our planet is worth protecting, and we wish to play our part by applying these sustainable practices of which we are very proud,” concludes Pierre Tossut.

Furthermore, as the business noted, the product creations are born from collaborative efforts, crafted alongside chocolatiers, pastry chefs and bakers who remain attuned to the latest consumer trends. the brand has gained recognition for its innovation,  using creative solutions and the latest technologies to provide unique tastes and high-standard Belgian chocolate to every single professional in the chocolate industry, reinforcing its commitment to providing the best experience to their customers.

“Belcolade combines sensory expertise and sustainability to craft quality products that drive our customers’ success while securing a sustainable future for generations to come,” remarks Youri Dumont, Director of the Chocolate Business Unit at Puratos.

“The Cacao-Trace Sustainable Programme is a testament to our commitment to taste and sustainability. Our Cacao-Trace chocolate, which will be produced in part at the new site, takes taste to a whole new level of excellence thanks to a unique fermentation process that guarantees the best cocoa quality and enhances the flavours of every chocolate drop.”

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