GROOT-BIJGAARDEN, BELGIUM — This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Belcolade brand, created in 1988 by Puratos to serve the professional chocolate market.

The company celebrated the event by calling attention to the chocolate’s Belgian heritage.

“Back in the 1980s, when many of Belgium’s large flagship chocolate companies were taken over by foreign groups, Puratos decided to protect one of the most precious elements of Belgium’s culinary heritage: real Belgian chocolate,” the company said.

Belcolade chocolate is produced exclusively in Belgium at Erembodegem, west of Brussels, Belgium. Its development was the brainchild of Eddy Van Belle, chairman of the board of Puratos Group.

“Belcolade stands for real Belgian chocolate,” he said, “which is a unique combination of taste, processing and creativity, all produced in Belgium with the greatest respect for the chocolate-making tradition and with an everlasting passion for the product.”

In 2000, the company opened its Chocolate Centre, a center of expertise that supports chocolate innovation.

Puratos developed the exclusive Belcolade Origins line of single-origin chocolates from around the world. Among its products, the company also offers 100% organic chocolates and a sustainable range with Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ certifications.

Headquartered near Brussels, Puratos maintains a U.S. office at Cherry Hill, N.J. It has five innovation and nutrition centers.