The facility was up and running in April of this year and is now said to be ramping up towards full production of the company's soft cheeses such as Patros feta, Valbrie and Almette.
Company executive director Herbert Summer described the completion of the facility, at Raos, on the outskirts of Moscow, as a "milestone" and said that the facility would help the country towards further growth in the Russian market.
Hochland moved into the eastern European region markets in the early 90s and has built up an extensive business network throughout the region to become a leading provider of dairy products. In Russia Hochland products have been available since 1994, when exports were shipped over from Germany. However in 2000, went into a joint venture to produce cheese in Raos, with Ehrmann, in the same year that it built production facilities in Baranowo, Poland.
Backed by a strong marketing campaign, the company said that even by 2001, it was clear that it would have to build another facility to meet the strong demands of the Russian market. The company says that after extensive marketing and advertising campaigns its brand is now recognised by 60 per cent of householders, quite an accomplishment considering it was unheard of when it first entered the market.
The new facility was constructed over an 18-month period to give 16,000 square metres of which includes its own source of power supply, alongside administrative facilities. Some 230 workers are employed in the facility, working a three-shift system that ensures round-the-clock manufacturing.
"We are completely committed to the Russian market as it is an essential part of Hochland's strategic goal," said Dr Hans Hans-Henning, supervisory board chairman. In addition he praised the hard work of staff and the compliance of local authorities, all of which made the project possible.
The investment in Russia mirrors a similar investment of €40 million to develop cheese production at the company's Heimenkirch facility in Germany.
Currently Hochland employs 3200 people in six countries across Europe. It has an annual turnover of €700 million and a production capacity of 200,000 tons, making it Germany's largest cheese maker.