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“Artisanal customers needn’t worry”, says Puratos post-Latvian acquisition

By Shane Starling , 29-Apr-2011
Last updated on 29-Apr-2011 at 13:30 GMT

Puratos is impressed by the modernity of Pure Food's operation
Puratos is impressed by the modernity of Pure Food's operation

Belgian supplier Puratos says its undisclosed acquisition this week of 17-year-old Latvian fruit fillings firm, Pure Food, is about expansion into the central and eastern European and Nordic regions – and the supermarket channel - but its artisanal customer base needn’t worry it is abandoning them.

Company spokesperson Pascale Jantcheff told FoodNavigator the move matched the company’s strategy to develop its presence in the supermarket channel, something Pure Food, which employs 167 people, is strong in.

“But we see this as an added-value move,” she said. “Pure Food has some very large accounts in supermarkets and they are an innovative, technology-driven company so that was important to us. But our existing artisanal customers needn’t worry – they remain just as important to us as ever.”

The vertical integration offered by Pure Group was another key factor.

“Pure Food collects and cleans berries from the Baltic States for the end product, bringing vertical integration to the Puratos Group,” Puratos said.

The Latvian company will be supported by the Puratos Fruit and Fillings business unit, where its expertise in sourcing and cleaning of berries, aseptic industrial packaging, and modern production techniques will bring synergies to the Group. Pure Food’s new production unit was built in 2007, which means that customers benefit from the most modern production facilities for fruit filling production.”

€1bn a year earning Puratos hinted that while it would be lending all its technical know-how to its new acquisition (if approved by the European Union) to drive innovation higher, there would also be knowledge transfer flowing from east to west.

“The acquisition of Pure Food will allow Puratos to develop its business with industrial bakeries and patisseries in the region, as well as strengthening its presence in the artisan and supermarket in store bakeries. Our customers are continuously looking for new innovative options for the production of patisserie, and these products will complement our existing products and ranges,” said Simon Peel, Nordic Regional Director Puratos, who emphasizes that he is delighted to welcome the new team in Puratos.

Pure Food general manager, Aigars Balodis, added: “Being with Puratos will allow us to develop our business in the bakery and confectionery market, and at the same time give us technical support for R&D and production facility back up to maintain and grow our business in the yoghurts and desserts segment.”

Puratos acquired a major shareholding in Brazilian chocolate maker Floresta do Rio Doce Agroderivados in January this year, again for an undisclosed sum.

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