Lactalis is set to invest a total of €160m ($172m) in its Italian operations in the two years until the end of 2024.

Having invested over €248m in Italy over the last five years, the French dairy giant has labelled the European country a “strategic country”.

A group statement said circa 88% of the investment package “is intended for the improvement, maintenance and modernisation of its sites in Italy”.

Lactalis has 31 facilities in Italy, selling brands like Galbani, Parmalat, Ambrosi and Leerdammer.

The group recently invested over €26m in a new headquarters in Milan, with the purchase of new offices in Largo Tazio Nuvolari which will house over 350 employees based in Milan.

In 2023, Lactalis has invested €64m in Italy and will invest an additional €70m in 2024, intended for R&D, logistics and supply chain activities, as well as “maintenance and modernisation of the factories”.

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By GlobalData

The statement said the recent investments have “concerned a variety of areas, including food safety, the protection of employee health, the reduction of the environmental impacts from production, the reduction of operational complexity and the increase in production capacity”.

Giovanni Pomella, CEO of Lactalis’ business in Italy, said: “In an increasingly dynamic economic context, it is essential to invest in the development of the dairy supply chain to ensure its competitiveness.

“As a leader in the sector, we have the responsibility not only to continue to invest, but also to network and identify paths shared by the various players in the sector, which can support Italian dairy products at home, through an increasing focus on sustainability, and abroad, through the enhancement of our local specialties.”

The group says it increased investment worldwide by 17% in 2022 compared with the year earlier to €750m to modernise production sites and reduce its carbon footprint.

Lactalis generated €14.5bn of revenue in Europe in 2022, comprising over half of the dairy major’s total revenue.

Earlier this year, the French group was accused of “unfair” trading practices in milk procurement by Italy’s principal farmers’ association Coldiretti.

In the violation claims supported by Coldiretti president Ettore Prandini, Lactalis was accused of lowering contracted prices of milk to the detriment of farmers.