The chocolate brand Tony's Chocolonely takes over a Belgian company and can therefore really make its own chocolate for the first time.

However, that does not mean that the company is ending its plans for a factory in Zaandam.

It will be built in the coming years, "but a combination of our own factory and partners will always be needed", says operational director Anne-Wil Dijkstra.

Tony's Chocolonely has been working with the Belgian chocolate factory Althaea-De Laet since its inception.

The factory made the very first bars for the Dutch company and was now looking for succession.

However, the founders did not find them in the family and Tony's Chocolonely was their largest customer, so the choice was quickly made.

Tony's Chocolonely also agreed with the plan.

"The factory was already almost fully optimized for our production and now a production line is even being added", Dijkstra told NU.nl.

As a result, the production of 4,000 tons of chocolate per year in that factory can grow by 70 percent.

In addition, the company works together with another chocolate factory in Belgium and with the Belgian chocolate giant Barry Callebaut.

"The chocolate is melted at Barry Callebaut and then goes in large tanks to the partners who make bars from it," explains Dijkstra.

The takeover makes it possible for Tony's Chocolonely to continue to grow, but Dijkstra could not give concrete predictions about this.

Tony's Chocolonely has been the largest chocolate brand in the Netherlands since 2018 and was named the most sustainable Dutch brand for the third time in May last year. The construction of its own factory is planned, but due to the corona crisis, those plans had to be postponed.