The facility was built on the former Ornua cheese manufacturing site, opening two years to the day since the site was destroyed by fire.
The 35,000-tonne mozzarella and pizza cheese facility, which has the potential to increase to 70,000-tonnes in the future, enhances Ornua’s pizza cheese making capacity and capability. Ornua supplies enough cheese for more than 100m pizzas each year.
The reopening of the Ávila facility also marked the creation of Ornua Ingredients Europe which brings Ornua’s Spanish and UK Ingredients businesses together. The new division is a supplier of cheese and dairy powder ingredients supplying more than 75,000-tonnes of added value ingredients to food manufacturing, QSR and pizza customers.
The rebuild of the facility, which employs over 120 people, included an expansion and processing technology upgrade. As a result, the Ávila facility is intended to reinforce Ornua’s position as a major supplier of mozzarella and pizza cheese blends for both European and global pizza chains and play a major role in Ornua’s growth strategy of diversifying its product portfolio and building scale.
The Ávila site features a R&D Centre of Excellence with a pilot plant and innovation kitchen dedicated to developing the next generation of pizza cheese and cheese ingredients for the $130bn global pizza market. Its technology provides a selection of mozzarella and mozzarella-based cheese blends. It also features innovative Individual Quick-Freezing capability, an in-line cooling system and the technology to produce pizza cheese ropes for the growing ‘stuffed crust’ sector of the market.
Led by newly appointed managing director Joan Bombardo, Ornua Ingredients Europe incorporates Ávila and Ornua’s UK Ingredients businesses, giving it a turnover in excess of €300m ($334m); four processing and NPD facilities and 600 staff.