19-Nov-2021 - Danone

Alpro unveils major UK investment plan set to increase production yield whilst slashing energy consumption

The development creates 25 additional jobs locally, with opportunities for future growth

Plant-based pioneer, Alpro, a Danone owned business, is unveiling its latest investment for its
Kettering-based UK factory, as part of a total c.£41 million plan set to ramp up production capacity
for its plant-based products destined for UK shoppers, enhance its sustainability credentials and
create new jobs in the local area.

The latest investment comprises a new c.£17 million high-speed production facility along with a
state-of-art trigeneration unit and water treatment plant that will reduce energy consumption, CO2
emissions and water usage across the site.

The announcement reflects years of exponential growth for the plant-based and dairy-free sector,
now worth £636 millioni, with category leader Alpro accounting for £259.6m in value salesii and
responsible for encouraging 2.2 million new shoppersiii to try plant-based within the last year.

Increased production
The new high-speed production facility is set to increase production capacity to 300 million litres of
soya, oat, rice and coconut drinks a year (representing 300 million packs of Alpro 1L drinks). With
further planned investment, that number is set to increase to up to 400 million litres as early as
2022.

General Manager for Alpro, Sue Garfitt, says: “As the plant-based category leader, we’ve been
blazing a trail in sustainable production for more than 40 years, and there’s no question that this
significant investment in our UK site is the latest example of that”.

“The changes we are installing will not only accelerate the volume of products we are producing in
the UK, for UK shoppers – but will also allow us to keep ahead of the curve and continue being the
brand to fuel the category growth and whet the nation’s appetite for delicious and healthy plant-
based products, and of course, doing this whilst operating in a planet-friendly way.”

Currently, 100% of fresh and 75% of UHT Alpro 1L drinks created on site in Kettering are sold to UK
shoppers with the increased production meaning even more products are created within the UK for
UK shoppers.

Sustainable operations

As part of the investment, Alpro has installed a new, state-of-the-art combined cooling, heat and
power unit (CCHP, or ‘trigeneration’) to simultaneously generate electricity, useful heating and
cooling from the combustion of gas – resulting in a more efficient use of primary energy. This move allows the factory – which runs on 100% renewable electricity – to reduce energy consumption and
carbon emissions.

The site also boasts a new water treatment plant, that cuts water usage and results in 218 m3 of
water being reused on site every day – enough to fill more than an Olympic sized swimming pool
each week1.

With more products created in the UK for UK shoppers, the investment slashes the need for
imports, dividing by 4 the number of Alpro trucks coming to the UK, hence reducing Alpro’s CO2
emissions from transport significantly.

Garfitt, says: “As a committed B Corp business, our environmental impact matters in everything
that we do, so we are proud to be making this positive progress in further reducing our planetary
footprint. We’ve made leaps and bounds across our product portfolio, including reducing our
packaging usage and striving for 100% recyclable packaging and 100% plant-based or recycled
materials by 2025, so it’s vital that our sustainable initiatives are also being reflected in our
sustainable manufacturing processes.”

Alpro’s Kettering site has also reduced energy consumption per product by more than -40% in the
last 13 years and also operates a zero waste to landfill.

Local opportunities

Alpro currently employs more than 200 people at its UK factory, with many of its skilled workers
hailing from the surrounding areas of Corby, Kettering and Burton Latimer.

The new investment plans have created additional job opportunities within the community, with a
further 25 workers hired to meet the increase in capacity, representing a +12.5% demand in
workforce.

“We’ve been operating in Kettering for more than 20 years, and we’re continuing to invest in the
local community as part of our commitment to produce more for the UK, close to home. With this
latest expansion, we’re proud to be increasing our workforce and with our ongoing investment we
hope to create further local employment opportunities,” says Garfitt.

The Nation’s Health

Garfitt, says: “The best part of our story is that there’s never been a better time to choose plant-
based, not only for the health of the planet but also the nation. There is a growing consensus among
policy makers, scientists and international organisations that eating more plant-based is a
fundamental part of the solution for the challenges of today and tomorrowiv.”

The ‘National Food Strategy’ indicates that poor diet contributes to 64,000 deaths a year in England
alone and costs the economy £74bn. However, a study published in the Journal of Nutrition2 found
that British government could reduce its healthcare and societal costs by £5.21 billion if just 10% of
the UK population would embrace plant-based foods in their diet.


1 Based on an Olympic-sized swimming pool representing 1,200m3 water.

2 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0899900717302861?via%3Dihub


“We are at a pivotal moment and this proves there’s more reason than ever before to make the
switch to plant-based foods for health,” says Garfitt. “That’s because plant-based foods tend to be
full of fibre, heart healthy - generally low in saturated fat – and packed with a wide range of vitamins
and minerals.”

Facts, background information, dossiers
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  • Alpro
  • CO2 emissions
  • milk alternatives
  • plant-based food
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