Chocolate producer partly resumes production at flooded factory

Chocolate producer partly resumes production at flooded factory
The Galler factory following the floods. Credit: Belga

Three months after Belgian chocolatier Galler’s factory in the province of Liège became badly damaged during the July floods, the company has announced it will resume part of the production line there.

The deadly floods not only affected thousands of people at home, but they also damaged many businesses in the hardest-hit regions, including Galler, which was one of the worst affected businesses in the region, as the heavy rainfall came streaming down a nearby hill, directly into its factory.

The biggest loss in the workshop, where 50 people were employed, was the hardest to replace: its machine with which the factory has been making its famous square bâtons since 1976, and has now had to part with. In certain parts of the workshop, the water level reached two metres.

However, Galler found temporary shelter with other companies, including the “no sugars added chocolate” producer Cavalier in Flanders, food preparation and packaging company Fournipac in Namur and chocolate maker François Deremiens in Luxembourg, allowing staff to get back to work with the company’s own raw materials.

“The teams have adapted to the new situation and have agreed in good spirits to move to another location a few days a week so that they can do their work as normally as possible,” a Galler press release stated.

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Now, the renovations of the Chaudfontaine site have been partially completed, to the extent that the packaging of the various products can be done on location again.

“Even if the production costs turn out to be higher than usual, Galler will not raise its prices,” a press release from the chocolate company on Thursday read.

The total damages caused by the floods have been estimated at around €12 million, however, the company received around €4 million in support from banks, while shareholders will inject €5 million into the business.

The company also counted on many generous donations, and the damage cost was partially covered by insurance and the Walloon Region, which helped towards paying for the renovations made so far.

From the second half of October, almost the entire Galler assortment will be available for consumption in Belgium once again.

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