UPFIELD ‘breaks ground’ to begin construction of new Upfield Food Science Centre
- Following the announcement* to develop a new Upfield Food Science Centre and new offices in June this year, the leading producer of plant margarines, spreads and cheeses has begun the construction of the state-of-the-art facility in Wageningen, the Netherlands.
- This 12-month project will see Upfield solidifying its commitment to pioneering the development of great tasting foods made from plants, and sustainable packaging solutions.
- Once built, the Upfield Food Science Centre will achieve a BREEAM Outstanding certification that recognises a building’s exemplary sustainability standards.
Amsterdam, Netherlands, 21 October, 2020 – Today, following the initial announcement by the Upfield Group to invest into a new state-of-the-art Upfield Food Science Centre in Wageningen, construction has officially commenced. The project, which is in close proximity to The Wageningen University & Research (WUR) will sit at the core of a leading Agri-Food Ecosystem. According to plans, it will take approximately 12-months to complete and demonstrates Upfield’s commitment to pioneering plant-based food innovation and sustainable packaging, as well as to the Netherlands.
Upfield Group CEO David Haines said, ‘Today marks our commitment to the future of plant-based food and packing innovation. The Upfield Food Science Centre will be a hub for pioneering research and new product development. It will allow us to accelerate our ambitious agenda and develop even more options so people can enjoy great tasting, natural, plant-based foods that are not only beneficial to their health, but to the planet. It also presents us with a unique opportunity to work together with new innovators, businesses and neighbours. Together with them, we want to push the boundaries of what we can achieve in natural, plant-based nutrition’
The Netherlands is of great importance to Upfield with the global headquarters based in Amsterdam. The Upfield Food Science Centre continues Upfield’s investment and commitment to growth in the Netherlands.
The occasion was marked with Upfield Chief Research and Development Officer John Verbakel striking the first pole into the ground with Van Wijnen Director Harry Dijkstra, responsible for the construction of the facility, at the site of the new innovative facility. Also, in attendance virtually, due to Covid 19 restrictions, was The Mayor of Wageningen, Geert van Rumund and board member of Wageningen University Rens Buchwaldt.
Commenting on the construction, Geert van Rumund, Mayor of Wageningen said “the arrival of Upfield is of great value to our city. Wageningen is the linchpin of the food supply of tomorrow and the new center will play an important role in this. Partly thanks to the investments, knowledge and skills of these kinds of innovative food companies, our region is rightly called the Food Valley.”
John Verbakel, Upfield Chief Research and Development Officer said, ‘This is the first step on what will be a very exciting journey for Upfield and our ability to continue to fuel the
plant-based revolution. We have recently introduced Flora Plant Butter, the first 100% plant-based alternative to dairy butter with 50% less carbon footprint and in paper packaging free from plastic, and Violife, which is the leading choice for plant-based cheese to our growing portfolio of brands. These innovations simply cannot take place without extensive scientific research. The Upfield Food Science Centre will be an inspiring, dedicated where our talented researchers, scientists and chefs can continue creating pioneering plant-based foods that people want to eat. Watch this space!’
The new Upfield Food Science Centre has been designed to maximise opportunities to work collaboratively, with areas that will support Upfield’s broader ambition to develop innovative new products and packaging. The centre will house offices, an experience centre & Green Hub restaurant, laboratories, a pilot plant and test kitchens. It has also been designed to focus on energy efficiency, reduction of water usage and reducing waste consumption and emissions. Implementation of these sustainable measures will be acknowledged through a BREEAM Outstanding certification which is a qualification of a building’s sustainability and is the highest certification possible.