The CHF 127m (€105.6m) site in Southern Chile will have a production capacity of 30,000 tonnes of milk powder per year once it is up and running, and Nestlé said the site would allow it to meet increased world demand for what it called “nutritional ‘plus’ products”.
A Nestlé Chile spokeswoman told DairyReporter.com: "The new Nestlé Osorno Factory will produce milks to support the growth of children, like Nido +1, Nido +3 and Nido +5. Also whole and slim powder milk with nutritional plus value like fiber, probiotics, vitamins and minerals."
The Swiss firm claimed that the build was one of the most technologically advanced dairy factories of its kind in the world, and that it would provide 300 direct jobs and 1,500 indirect jobs.
Explaining the factory's technological features, the spokeswoman said: "The factory favors the use of clean energy (50% energy generated by a Biomass boiler, liquefied gas 30% and 20% electrical). The biomass boiler cut 10,400 tonnes of CO2, compared with coal."
The new factory was also able to reuse 90% of water involved in powdered milk production process, she added.
Chile’s finance minister, Felipe Larraín, and the nation’s environment minister, Maria Ignacia Benitez, attended the factory’s opening ceremony with Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke.
Asked why Nestlé chose to build the facility in Southern Chile, and whether it was seen as a particularly strategic location, the spokeswoman said:"The reasons to invest involve a number of reasons, like trust in the institutionality and seriousness of the country, excellent milk quality, political and economic stability, among others.
She added: "The number of professionals available and prepared to work in a factory with this level of technology and also the constant requirement for milk, which is guaranteed in this region (where we have been present for 70 years) are other arguments that led Nestlé to choose Chile for this milk investment."
Close to dairy farmers
As with its other dairy processing sites worldwide, Nestlé said its Osorno manufacturing site was situated in a rural area close to the dairy farms that supply it with fresh milk.
This enabled Nestlé to trade directly with farmers, and to provide them with technical assistance and training to improve milk production and quality.
Bulcke said: “We have built an excellent collaborative relationship with our milk producers in Chile over the years.”
“By working with farmers in this way, we have fostered a long-term, mutually beneficial partnership. This is our approach to business we call Creating Shared Value.”
Nestlé’s brands in Chile include Savory ice cream, as well as international brands such as Nescafé and Maggi.
The firm opened its first South American R&D centre Chilean capital Santiago in 2010.