Upfield has submitted a €50 million investment project to Dutch authorities for a new facility and headquarters in the Netherlands
Dutch food manufacturer Upfield Group plans to invest €50 million in a new state-of-the-art food innovation centre. The site, to be known as Upfield Food Science Centre, will be in Wageningen, located one-hour drive southeast of Amsterdam.
Upfield operates a portfolio of plant-based brands of margarines, spreads and cheeses. The group was formed in 2018 following the acquisition of Unilever’s spreads and margarine business by KKR in an $8.1 billion deal, the largest leveraged buyout recorded in Europe in 2017, Bloomberg reported.
Brands in the group include Flora, Blue Band, Stork, Becel, Country Crock, Lätta, Rama, and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!.
Wageningen is considered the Netherlands’ Silicon Valley of the food industry and a world-class location for food innovation.
Upfield said that by choosing Wageningen as the location of the new food innovation centre, the company will be able to maximise the benefits of the surrounding area, including its proximity to The Wageningen University & Research (WUR), which is ranked as the world’s leading University in agri-food and serves as the core of a leading agri-food ecosystem.
John Verbakel, chief research and development officer, commented: “Investment in the new Upfield Food Science Centre will give us access to state-of-the-art equipment, technology and an inspiring and creative network of individuals and companies, allowing us to really push the boundaries of what we can achieve in natural, plant-based foods innovation.”
Group chief executive David Haines commented: “The new Upfield Food Science Centre will allow us to accelerate our ambitious agenda and develop even more options so people can enjoy great-tasting, natural, plant-based foods that are not only beneficial to their health, but to the planet,” said Haines. As a global leader in plant-based nutrition, we are extremely excited by what this investment means for the future of the category.’
Upfield, headquartered in Amsterdam, has also committed to opening a new global headquarters office by the end of 2021.
Plans for both building projects were submitted to the Dutch Works Council today, and the consultation process has started.
Date published: 11 June 2020