Ardo Group is investing EUR44m (US$49.5m) over five years to increase capacity at the Belgian frozen food specialist’s vegetable processing plant in Gourin, Brittany.

Spending will focus on doubling production of organic products, which only account for 5% of output, while also targeting the expansion of Ardo’s product range, a spokesperson said.  

Ardo operates five facilities in France, a country that makes up 20% of its global production volumes. Its market presence predominately revolves around Europe. However, in 2017, Ardo bought a majority stake in Canada-based supplier VLM Foods, giving it access to North America.

Meanwhile, automated machinery and equipment and optical sensors will feature more prominently in the Gourin site’s production to optimise the detection of foreign bodies sometimes found in the 80,000 tonnes of cauliflowers, carrots, potatoes, celery, and broccoli processed at the plant annually.

Ardo also invested EUR32m at the plant two years ago to build a storage facility.