Danone has opened a €240 million Nutricia facility in the Netherlands, allowing it to produce specialised infant formula for children with specific medical conditions.
The plant – near Cuijk, in the southeast of the country – uses hydrolysation to break down cow’s milk proteins into smaller protein fragments, resulting in infant formula that is less likely to trigger an allergic reaction in infants with an allergy to cow’s milk protein, according to Danone.
The facility will have double the production capacity of its local legacy plant – despite using 60% less water, 25% less energy and emitting 50% less CO2.
It represents one of Danone’s largest investments anywhere in its European production network during the last ten years and, once fully operational, will employ close to 500 people.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the site this afternoon, more than three years after the investment was first announced.
Veronique Penchienati-Bosetta, executive vice-president for Danone Specialized Nutrition, said: “At Danone, we believe the health of people and the planet are interconnected, as expressed through our company vision ‘One Planet. One Health’. Our new Nutricia Cuijk facility is a significant investment towards achieving that vision. At this facility, we’ll be producing food for vulnerable babies; and we’re also doing everything we can to preserve a healthy and clean environment for future generations.”
Danone pointed out that the global prevalence of allergies was steadily rising, and research published in the journal Nature has suggested that between 2% and 5% of infants develop an allergy to cow’s milk protein within the first year of their life.
The new facility replaces an older plant (pictured) in Cuijk (location shown). © Google/FoodBev
The newly built facility uses advanced environmental technologies coupled with efficiently designed manufacturing processes to ensure that the plant’s overall footprint is kept to a minimum. And the site will be fully powered by renewable electricity, allowing it to reduce its carbon footprint further.
Danone is also targeting a reduction in Nutricia Cuijk’s full-scope carbon emissions. The plant will source dairy ingredients exclusively from Western Europe, which has the lowest CO2 emissions from dairy farming of any region in the world.
Of these ingredients, a significant majority are sourced locally – from the Netherlands and Germany. Nutricia Cuijk will also embrace the principles of the circular economy – 100% of the facility’s waste is recovered, including all packaging waste, Danone said.
The plant replaces an existing facility in Cuijk, which will gradually be phased out.
Carola Schouten, deputy prime minister of the Netherlands and minister for agriculture, nature and food quality, said: “Danone’s Nutricia Cuijk facility is not only a monument to innovation and sustainable production, but also a recognition of the Netherlands as a dairy country. With the opening of this factory, Danone again contributes to Dutch ‘Topsector’ [the industries in which Dutch businesses perform best] knowhow, and our expertise in specialised nutrition.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019