The new factory Nestlé is building in Ukraine is set to start production in the first quarter of next year.

The world’s largest food maker announced in December plans for a new facility in the west of the country.

Now the Swiss giant has confirmed when output is scheduled to begin at the site, which is in Smolyhiv, around 40 miles from the border with Poland.

Nestlé already has a factory four miles to the east in Torchyn. Together, the sites will be the company’s “European regional hub for food and culinary products”, the company said.

Alessandro Zanelli, the CEO of Nestlé’s operations in Ukraine and south-eastern Europe, said around 300 staff will work on the production lines.

“Ukraine will remain the sole European instant noodle production hub for Nestlé,” Zanelli said. “This production facility … will clearly play a huge role for exports to European countries of a fast-growing segment. Already a few months after announcing the investment into the new production, we have taken significant steps and made significant progress on the construction of the site and the design of production lines.”

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According to Nestlé’s latest annual report, published in March, the Maggi maker has three factories in Ukraine, producing confectionery, drinks and “prepared dishes and cooking aids”.

Nestlé halted its operations in Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the day President Putin gave the order for Russian forces to move to enter Ukraine. The Nesquik cereal maker resumed operations in the country soon after.

The company continues to operate in Russia. In March last year, Nestlé said it would “focus on providing essential food, such as infant food and medical/hospital nutrition – not on making a profit. This approach is in line with our purpose and values. It upholds the principle of ensuring the basic right to food”. It said it had stopped all advertising and suspended all capital investment in the country.

Nestlé made some changes to its stance on operating in Russia after initially facing criticism, including from Ukraine’s President Zelensky.