Leicestershire firm helps smooth passage for £300m drinks factory

How the factory will look when complete
X The Business Desk

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A Leicestershire-based food and drink capital investment specialist is helping leading juice and smoothie brand innocent create 190 jobs at a new £300m factory in Rotterdam.

Integrated Food Projects (IFP) is working with the London-based drinks manufacturer which is working on ‘the blender’ factory in the Port of Rotterdam’s new Food Hub. Once complete, the factory will create 190 jobs and produce over 400 million bottles of chilled juice a year.

innocent wanted to bring its operations largely in-house, lessening the impact on the environment by taking miles off the road and reducing the carbon footprint of the manufacturing process.

The move means the company can reduce road miles travelled by around 25%, since most of the fruit arrives by shipping container to the Port of Rotterdam. The blender will also use as little water as possible, and reduce, reuse and recycle waste that is created.

IFP has so far delivered an evaluation study to establish the concept, delivery programme, cost:benefit and the viability of innocent creating a new manufacturing facility.

Matt Carr, managing director at IFP, said: “Carbon neutrality is a moving target, so while green diesel and biomass energy were considered green fuels as recently as 2017, today they are not. This meant we needed to future-proof this factory, so that innocent would continue to uphold the high sustainability standards it had set out to achieve.”

He added: “We like to work in this way, becoming fully integrated in the client’s business so we can understand their goals and challenges. It works really well – there is a fantastic project atmosphere and communication across the teams.”

With work on the new factory now underway, Chris Fielden, group supply chain director at innocent said: “Designing, building and operating a sustainable factory starts with a very dedicated and aligned team of partners with a shared vision on sustainability, targeting water, energy and waste reduction.

“Integrated Food Projects is an invaluable partner for us, as alongside engineering expertise, the team is able to provide independent consultancy on how the new factory should operate and where it should be built.

“The blender is in the early stages of being built at the moment and is likely to open mid-year 2021. We’re excited to create a factory that will be top of the class in sustainability and create a great place to work for around 190 people in the Netherlands.”