Vion Food Group plans to convert an existing production facility into a dedicated site for plant-based products after the Netherlands-based meat processor’s recent launch into the category.
The plant, which produces real-beef products, is located in the north-western city of Leeuwarden in Friesland province. While it was built in 2017, Vion said it was constructed to the latest standards and can therefore easily be adjusted for plant-based production.
Vion’s Leeuwarden site also has the capacity to add new production lines, freezing capabilities and extra storage.
Earlier in October, Vion announced its foray into the meat-alternative sphere with the launch of its ME-AT unit, which the company said at the time would supply private-label items to retailers, mainly in the Netherlands and Germany.
Chief executive Ronald Lotgerink said the traditional meat industry in the Netherlands has more than enough capacity to enable Vion to make the shift at Leeuwarden.
He added: “The capacity for livestock processing in the Netherlands has grown significantly in the past two years, and has proven to be more than sufficient to meet the demand. Given the knowledge we gained from our investment a few years ago, we are now making the strategic choice to invest in a dedicated plant-based site in Leeuwarden. We look forward to continue our relationships with our livestock suppliers at other Vion sites and welcome arable farmers as new suppliers in our plant-based chain.”
just-food has approached Vion for more details on the product mix and customers to be supplied by the Leeuwarden plant.