Barry Callebaut, a major chocolate and cocoa company, has revealed plans for a significant investment worth CHF 500 million. The investment is part of the company’s strategic review, known as BC Next Level, which aims to drive customer innovation, address sustainability challenges, and accelerate digital development.
The key objective of BC Next Level is to optimize global operations within Barry Callebaut’s cocoa and chocolate business, with an expected cost savings of CHF 250 million per year. The program aims to shape the company’s direction for the next decade enhancing market proximity, customer engagement, and digitalization.
As part of the initiative, Barry Callebaut will implement a new management structure and create new global roles in Finance, Human Resources, and Technology. The company also plans to establish a customer supply and development organization to further improve its processes.
To accommodate these changes, the executive committee will be redesigned, reducing its size from nine to six members. Notable additions to the committee include Peter Vanneste as Chief Financial Officer, Jutta Suchanek as Chief People & Diversity Officer, and Dr. Clemens Woehrle as Chief Customer Supply & Development Officer.
Jo Thys, the current Chief Operations Officer, will assume the role of President of Operations Strategy & Innovation, reporting to Clemens Woehrle. Meanwhile, Ben De Schryver will transition from Chief Financial Officer to a commercial role and take on the responsibility of Regional President for North America.
Other personnel changes include the appointment of Vamsi Mohan Thati as Regional President for the APAC, Middle East & Africa region. Steve Woolley, Masha Vis-Mertens, and Rogier van Sligter have reportedly decided to explore opportunities outside of the company.
Barry Callebaut plans to provide a comprehensive strategic update and offer more details on BC Next Level on November 1, 2023. This update will be presented at a hybrid event in London, combining online and in-person participation.
CEO Peter Feld expressed his vision for the company, stating, “Our mission is to be the heart and the engine for the global cocoa and chocolate industry. We have delivered robust growth for nearly 25 years.” Feld highlighted the importance of investing in the company’s future to meet evolving customer demands for sustainability and innovation.
Patrick De Maeseneire, Chairman of Barry Callebaut’s Board of Directors, voiced support for the investment, emphasizing that BC Next Level will enhance the company’s customer focus, agility, and efficiency. He stated, “The Board is convinced that these actions will secure the long-term success of the company and benefit all stakeholders.”
Barry Callebaut’s strategic investment demonstrates its commitment to innovation, sustainability, and customer satisfaction as it positions itself for future growth in the global cocoa and chocolate industry.
– Neill Barston, “Barry Callebaut announces strategic investment of CHF 500 million in customer innovation & sustainability,” Confectionery Production, August 27, 2021