FrieslandCampina to invest 36 million euros in Belgian production plant Aalter

26 January 2011

The international dairy organisation FrieslandCampina is starting a large-scale investment project in the Belgian production location in Aalter. This 36 million euro investment will almost double production capacity and will create ninety extra jobs. The project will span one and a half years and will enable the location in Aalter to develop into a state of the art factory.

Royal FrieslandCampina, which came into existence in December 2008 from the merger of Royal Friesland Foods and Campina, is now really opting for on innovation and sustainable development. The international dairy organisation is therefore investing in the further expansion of its Belgian production locations. FrieslandCampina employs around 1,200 people in Belgium and recorded a turnover of EUR 523.2 million in 2009. The plans for the plant in Aalter involve substantial scale expansion which will lead to almost a doubling of current capacity. The products manufactured in Aalter are not solely intended for the Belgian market but also for the French, British, German and Dutch markets. This project follows on from the investments made last year in the production location in Lummen (Belgium). Moreover, investments will also be made this year in Bornem (Belgium).

Expansion of the product range
Up to now, FrieslandCampina has been producing the brands Joyvalle and Campina in Aalter. In the context of the investment project, Aalter will now also produce for the Fristi, Cécémel and Nutroma brands in cardboard packaging and bottles and coffee creamer in single-serving cups. The extra volume to be transferred from other FrieslandCampina locations will create employment for 90 people in addition to  the more than 500 staff currently employed at this location. The construction of the new buildings to house the extra production lines is now underway in Aalter. The project also includes a substantial investment in engineering. The total investment, which will be spread over one and a half years, will amount to 36 million euros.

High-tech challenge
The investment plan represents a major opportunity for the site in Aalter. Hugo Verhaegen, Managing Director of FrieslandCampina Belgium is satisfied: ‘Thanks to this project, the plant in Aalter will be given the chance to produce a number of top brands from the FrieslandCampina product spectrum. But it’s not going to be a rush job, as the high-tech nature of our production process means we have to put a lot of thought into how we want to refurbish while still guaranteeing the highest quality. We will also be producing a range of products in Aalter and we want to focus on socially responsible operations. Owing to the substantial investment, we can continue to expand our company and our know-how. The idea that we will be creating 90 extra jobs is a great way to start 2011.’