One of the victims of the flooding in Wallonia in July was the chocolatier Galler, whose factory was situated on the banks of the Vesdre in Chaudfontaine in Liege province.
Many people were made homeless by the flooding, some for the long term, and Galler was among them.
The damage should have put paid to production for a long time, but help has come from an unexpected corner.
Galler has now announced it has signed contracts to resume production, using its own staff and raw materials, at various locations in Flanders. One, where Galler will make its waffles, is a baker in the Andenne area.
The quality of the chocolate will not change, the company assured, but the trademark shape and size of Galler bars may be slightly different given that the entire equipment of the factory in Chaudfontaine is either destroyed by the water or ruined by the silt.
The company has had to improvise with new moulds. The original moulds and machines date back to 1976, when the company launched. Galler hopes to be back on-site by March next year, although at this stage such forecasts can only be speculative.
Meanwhile, the flood damage to Galler’s factory has been estimated at nine million euros, director Valérie Stefenatto announced yesterday.
“We still have to find seven million, because the insurance policies only intervene up to an amount of 2 million euros,” said Stefenatto. “Our financial partners have expressed their support and we hope to reach financing agreements before the end of September.”