Nestle Opens Factory of Plant-Based Food Made from Local Ingredients in Surcin – Investment Worth 80 Million Francs, Jobs for 220 Workers

Source: eKapija Tuesday, 27.02.2024. 15:18
(Photo: Nestle Srbija)
Nestle has opened a factory for the production of plant-based food in Surcin, next to the existing one. The investment is worth 80 million Swiss francs and 220 new jobs are created in it, the company announced.

The new factory, which spreads on 18,440 square meters, will produce meals from the product range of the brand GARDEN GOURMET, nutritive plant-based meals, and thereby offer additional options to consumers, the press release says.

– The brand GARDEN GOURMET is part of Nestle’s mission to offer innovative products which are good for people and the planet to the consumers, without compromises when it comes to the flavor. By using local ingredients, Nestle plans to additionally strengthen the local producers of soy, with the aim of maintaining the strong connections within the local community and the Serbian society. In 2022, the company established a partnership with a local supplier of soy protein in Serbia and its agriculturists, so that they would switch to regenerative agriculture. This is a way of soil working which strengthens natural ecosystems and aims to protect and renew agricultural land – Nestle says.

The opening of the factory was attended by the president of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, who said that the Swiss company had not asked for incentives for that investment.

– We started the construction of this factory together two years ago. Thanks to the Swiss precision and hard-working Serbian workers, the works are completed on time and 220 new jobs are created. I am glad that Nestle will not stop here and that it is planning future investments. Our aim is to strengthen the regional market – that is the way toward the European market and Serbia is ready for it – Vucic said.

At the new factory, Nestle will use renewable energy from hydro power plants, not produce municipal waste and treat all the waste water on the spot in its own waste water treatment facility. The principles of circular economy were implemented during the construction through the use of insulation eco-panels made from recycled Nestle product packaging, such as soups and mayonnaise.

– After 18 years of extraordinary business results at Nestle Srbija, we are opening a new chapter and an even more successful one, I believe. We continue improving the technology of food production and educating local suppliers and their producers through our program of regenerative agriculture, so as to support a more sustainable production of ingredients in Serbia. By expanding our plant-based product range, step by step, we are working on shaping a more sustainable future for us all. At the new factory, we will also implement the highest standards of environmentally responsible productions, in which we are pioneers in Serbia – said Marjana Davidovic, the country manager for Serbia, Montenegro and North Macedonia at Nestle.

According to Alessandro Zanelli, the director of Nestle for the Southeast Europe market, with the new factory, Serbia is becoming an important center for the production of plant-based food, not just in Southeast Europe, but on the entire continent.

– This investment shows a long-term orientation of Nestle toward Serbia, and this project fits in our future plans for the expansion of our local production network. Also, Serbia has become a regional pioneer in the implementation of the principles of regenerative agriculture in Nestle, which is not just our priority, but also a way of responding to climate changes and protecting our environment, which we believe will contribute to achieving the overall goal of reaching zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In order to achieve these goals, Nestle is investing 1.2 billion Swiss francs globally to promote regenerative agriculture throughout our supply chain by 2050 – Zanelli said.

The new director of the Nestle factory in Surcin is Jamadagni Khandige, who will take this position on July 1.

In 2012, Nestle acquired the factory of Centroproizvod, continued the production of the favorite Serbian brand “C” and started producing world-famous THOMY and MAGGI products, as well as a range of products for professional buyers, which it exports to over 40 countries worldwide. At the moment, Nestle Srbija employs over 700 people at the factory and the company’s corporate headquarters.

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