French dairy group Lactalis is investing around EUR15m (US$18.15m) in raising the production capacity of its 'pizza' cheese plant at Pontivy, Brittany, as part of a strategy to strengthen its position in this growth segment.
 
The project makes provision for the plant to be extended by 2,000 square metres allowing production capacity to be increased from the current level of 17,000 tonnes annually to 45,000 tonnes. The extension is scheduled for completion in 2007.
 
The pizza cheeses made at the plant, marketed under several brands, among them Pizzaiolo, are not destined for supermarket outlets but for wholesalers in France and Europe who in turn supply restaurants and industrial-scale pizza makers.    
 
Lactalis' Pontivy plant, which employs around 225 staff, also produces milk powders.