Dairy Dialog podcast 26: Danone Nutricia plant opens, Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses cheese Easter eggs, BioGrowing probiotics

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Dairy, Cheese, Easter egg, Easter, Probiotic, Yoghurt, Yogurt, Danone, Infant formula

This week on the podcast we talk to Danone senior vice president operations, specialized nutrition, David Boulanger, about the opening of the company’s new Nutricia Cuijk plant in the Netherlands, and take a look at a new, blue cheese Easter egg launched in the UK just in time for the Easter season, with Lancashire, UK based Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses’ commercial director, Matthew Hall. And then we head to China, via Poland, where we spoke with BioGrowing’s Mihai Titienar, international business division business representative, at the recent WorldFood event in Warsaw, Poland.

We also hear from Liam Fenton, from INTL FCStone, with an update on this week’s global dairy market.

Danone opens new sustainable Nutricia plant

Danone has officially opened its new Nutricia Cuijk production facility.

The opening ceremony marks the completion of a three-year journey to build an energy-efficient, zero-waste plant. The facility will primarily produce specialized infant formula that meets the needs of infants diagnosed with specific medical conditions – such as cow’s milk protein allergy, as well as standard infant formula.

The €240m ($269m) investment is among Danone’s largest in its European production network in the last ten years.

Veronique Penchienati-Bosetta, executive vice president, Danone Specialized Nutrition, said, “At Danone, we believe the health of people and the planet are interconnected, as expressed through our company vision ‘One Planet. One Health’.  Our new Nutricia Cuijk facility is a significant investment towards achieving that vision. At this facility, we’ll be producing food for vulnerable babies; and we’re also doing everything we can to preserve a healthy and clean environment for future generations.”

The new plant employs a specific manufacturing process to produce foods for special medical purposes containing extensively hydrolyzed protein to meet the specific nutritional needs of infants.

The new facility will replace an older, existing plant in Cuijk, which the company will gradually phase out. The newly-built Nutricia Cuijk facility uses advanced environmental technologies coupled with efficiently-designed manufacturing processes to ensure water and energy consumption as well as CO2​ emissions are kept to a minimum.

Once at full capacity, the new facility will have double the production capacity of the legacy plant. Despite this, the new plant will use 60% less water, 25% less energy and emit 50% less CO2​ than the legacy plant. To further minimize the new facility’s carbon footprint, Nutricia Cuijk is powered by 100% renewable electricity.

Nutricia Cuijk sources dairy ingredients exclusively from western Europe – the world’s region with the lowest dairy farming CO2​ emission rates. Of these ingredients, a significant majority are sourced locally, from the Netherlands and neighboring Germany. Also, 100% of the facility’s waste is recovered, including all packaging waste.

Once fully operational, the new Nutricia Cuijk facility will employ close to 500 staff and will – through indirect employment – support up to an additional 2,000 jobs. With the support of on-the-job training, the entire local workforce will transfer from the legacy plant in Cuijk to the newly-opened facility. At full capacity, Nutricia Cuijk will produce more than 600 different products – including the Aptamil and Nutrilon brands – for customers in more than 90 countries.

Veolia supports plant

French-headquartered environmental solutions company Veolia has supported Danone with the design and construction of the plant, leveraging the latest technological innovations and the company’s operational expertise to achieve the best possible environmental footprint for the site.

Veolia will be responsible under a 10-year outsourcing services contract for the generation of utilities onsite to specific performance guarantees.

Veolia will be providing the Danone’s Nutricia Cuijk site with guaranteed levels of availability and reliability of its utilities, notably air and steam, as well as ingredient and process water. Energy consumption will be monitored and guaranteed through Veolia’s proprietary efficiency hypervision centre Hubgrade.

Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses create blue cheese Easter egg

Family-run UK company Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses is producing the Blacksticks Blue Egg, the world’s only blue cheese Easter Egg. 

The Blacksticks Blue Egg uses a spreadable version of the company’s blue cheese. Handmade with 100% natural ingredients on site at the family-run dairy in rural Lancashire, the cheese is made from milk that comes from within a 10-mile radius of the dairy. Crafted in open vats, poured into individual moulds and turned by hand, the resulting cheese is a blue that is creamy and mild while still maintaining Blacksticks Blue’s bite.

The Blacksticks Blue Easter Egg is available from Ocado, Booths, Spar, Amazon and via https://butlerscheeses.co.uk/shop from March 28 and has an RRP of £5 ($6.50).

As well as the cheese, Blacksticks Blue egg comes with oatcakes and a sachet of caramelized red onion chutney.

The Blacksticks Blue egg was created to introduce the cheese to a wider audience.

For 2019, Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses is also launching the Cheesealicious Egg as a new SKU. This soft cheddar cheese egg is aimed at milder cheese lovers, and is available from Asda and Sainsbury’s from March 28.

BioGrowing probiotics

Worldfood Poland was held in Warsaw recently, and DairyReporter was at the event, talking to companies from around the region, and those from other areas looking to expand into the huge market in eastern Europe that not only includes Poland, but also the Baltic state of Latvia Lithuania and Estonia, as well as Romania, Hungary, Moldova, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Ukraine and Belarus.

One company looking to break into the market is the Chinese company Biogrowing, which specialises in probiotics, and was exhibiting its range of probiotic powders and capsules, and probiotic yogurt mixes at the event.

The Shanghai-based company, which now has three probiotic production facilities, was established in 2006, and has expanded its business scope from supplement formulations to dairy, functional foods, and agriculture probiotics.

The company sells products domestically and to more than 40 other countries, and covers the following areas:

Probiotic strains in bulk

Probiotic blends/premix

Probiotic formulations in bulk

Probiotic formulations for private labels

Probiotic food programs, like bakery, drinks, snack foods etc.

Dairy starter cultures (for yogurt, yoghurt drink, sour cream, cottage cheese, soft cheese etc.)

Homemade products, like homemade yogurt cultures, homemade yogurt powder, homemade pickled vegetables, etc.

Agriculture probiotics: pet foods, feed additives, dried-fed microbial (DFMs), silage and soybean meal starters etc.)

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