Vion Food Group has announced plans to open a dedicated plant-based site in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, in a move that responds to the growing demand for meat alternatives.
Earlier this year, Vion revealed plans to enter the meat alternative market, as part of the company’s strategy of ‘building food chains based on the market demand’.
The Dutch meat processor’s site in Leeuwarden was built in 2017 and currently operates as a beef facility. According to Vion, it was built in line with the latest standards, meaning it can be easily adjusted to become suitable for plant-based production.
Vion intends to scale up the site by adding more production line, freezing facilities and a larger storage capacity. The transition will reportedly not affect any current employees.
In early October this year, Vion showcased its new plant-based ME-AT range at Anuga. ME-AT will be available to consumers in Q1 2020.
CEO of Vion Ronald Lotgerink said: “The capacity for livestock processing in the Netherlands has grown significantly in the past two years and has proven to be more than sufficient to meet the demand.
“Given the knowledge we gained from our investment a few years ago, we are now making the strategic choice to invest in a dedicated plant-based site in Leeuwarden. We look forward to continue our relationships with our livestock suppliers at other Vion sites and welcome arable farmers as new suppliers in our plant-based chain.”
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