CHINA – The Swiss flavors and fragrances company, Firmenich has inaugurated what it says to be its largest flavor manufacturing plant in the world in the Zhangjiagang Free Trade Zone in China.

The company said the facility operates with digitally-advanced manufacturing systems and the highest Quality, Health, Safety, Security and Environmental standards.

According to Firmenich, the state-of-art plant is designed to best meet growing customer demand in China, with increased speed, operational excellence and traceability.

This is part of the move by the company to meet increasing consumer demand for world-class flavors in the Asian region.

Construction of the world-class manufacturing facility began in April last year to provide superior service to its customers across China with increased speed-to-market and operational excellence.

“This significant investment in Zhangjiagang reinforces our long-term commitment to China, our second largest market worldwide,” said Gilbert Ghostine, Firmenich CEO.

“This world-class plant massively scales-up our capacity to meet our customers’ demand for innovative and fast-to-market taste solutions. I look forward to seeing the Zhangjiagang plant play a central role in our growth journey.”

The new factory has a 70% automation rate with digitally-advanced and highly sustainable operations, designed to boost customer service while ensuring quality, safety and environmental performance.

Low environmental footprint

Firmenich said that the new site operates with an optimized environmental footprint, building on its ambition to become the world leader in sustainability.

The high-tech facility is designed to enable optimal waste, water, emissions and energy management.

It operates with zero waste-to-landfill and is the company’s first zero liquid discharge site which ensures all waste water is purified and recycled at the end of the treatment cycle.

The plant features 100% free of ozone depleting refrigerants as well as advanced integrated air treatment, lighting and building components to optimize energy consumption and recover heat waste.

“We’ve been working to delight Chinese consumers with our broad range of local flavors in everything from dairy drinks to tea and noodles for many years,” said Emmanuel Butstraen, President of Flavors at Firmenich.

“This will enable us to produce locally, highly differentiating technologies that can meet Chinese consumers’ new discerning tastes.”

Through its Pathways to Positive strategy, Firmenich has committed to reduce greenhouse gases and manage its global water use efficiently.

The ambitious goals include, reducing absolute Scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions by 20%, reduce the rate of water use in stressed areas by 25%, reduce waste generation rate by 15% and ensure 100% of its manufacturing sites claim zero waste-to-landfill by 2020.