Upfield plans US$57m investment in new plant-based foods centre

NETHERLANDS – Upfield Group, one the world’s leading producer of margarines, spreads and cheeses has unveiled plans to invest €50 million (US$57 million) in a new state-of-the-art Upfield Food Science Centre in Wageningen, Netherlands.

The company, which plans to open the facility before the end of 2021, said that the investment will support its ambitions in pioneering the development of plant-based foods.

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Wageningen is already considered the Silicon Valley of the food industry and a world-class location for food innovation and by choosing Wageningen as the location of the new Upfield Food Science Centre, the company will be able to maximize the benefits of the surrounding innovative ecosystem.

Commenting on the investment, Group CEO David Haines said that the new Upfield Food Science Centre will allow the company to accelerate its ambitious agenda and develop even more plant-based foods options.

“The announcement today demonstrates our commitment to ambitious and pioneering research and development,” David said.

“Our track record is good. Since Upfield was established under two years ago, we have already launched new and industry-leading plant-based cheese, cream, and butter products.”  

John Verbakel, Chief Research and Development Officer noted that the investment in the new Upfield Food Science Centre will give the company access to state-of-the art equipment, technology and innovative ecosystem within Wageningen to push boundaries in the plant-based food industry.

“It is exciting to be part of a company committed to such a large-scale investment, which recognizes the importance of food science and plant-based foods,” John said.

New Global Headquarters

The Flora, Country Crock, Stork, Blue Band and Proactiv brands owner, which is already headquartered in Amsterdam, has also committed to opening a new Global Headquarters office by the end of 2021.

The company said that the newly built Global Headquarter office will bring together Associates who are currently based in both Rotterdam and Amsterdam to enhance collaboration between associates currently working at different sites.

The company added that the site will also offer a modern working environment that is reflective of Upfield’s purpose and mission to achieve a better plant-based future.

Upfield is owned by global investment giant, KKR. The company bought Becel, Flora, Country Crock and Blue Band brands from Unilever in 2017 as part of a US$8.04 billion deal. The company recently acquired Violife brand owner, Arivia, headquartered in Greece.

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