The Danisco Shanghai Centre will combine sales and application laboratories for the entire group, as well as a research and development facility for its Genencor enzyme division. The firm said that the centre will serve as an "important springboard for our company's growth in China and the nearby region". "Our sales in China have grown at 20 per cent since last year; it's an important growth area for us," a spokesperson told FoodNavigator.com this morning. One-city-one-site The new facility will serve to consolidate Danisco operations under one roof. It will bring together the firm's innovation and application laboratories (which were previously located in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province), a new Genencor R&D centre, and the sales offices of Danisco, Genencor and Danisco Animal Nutrition in Shanghai. The centre, located in the Hongqiao International Business Park (IBP) close to Hongqiao Airport, will be the only Danisco site in Shanghai. The company said the consolidation of the three sales offices is designed to create synergy and integrate administration and sales and marketing platforms, which it hopes will result in increased efficiency. A similar one-city-one-site principle has already been implemented successfully in Singapore and Paris, France, said the firm. The firm forked out $5m (€3m) for the new facility, which will employ around 100 people and is spread over 5,600 square metres. Serving customers According to Danisco, a key aspect of the new centre is that it will allow the company to work directly with its customers in its application laboratories. The food ingredients application laboratories in Danisco Shanghai Center cover dairy, cultures, ice cream, beverages, bakery, confectionery, jams, desserts, brewing, meat, food safety & protection, phage testing and sensory testing. "Our similar centres in Singapore and France are a great success of how we as a group can deliver dedicated and tailor-made solutions to our regional customers, while minimising costs. It therefore felt natural to follow up on our success by establishing a centre in booming Shanghai, where many of our customers are located," said Tom Knutzen, Danisco CEO, in a statement. Another key aspect is that the facility consolidates Danisco's enzyme research activities in Asia through its enzyme division, Genencor. Genencor produces a wide range of grain processing enzymes for use in sweetener production. These convert corn, wheat, and other starches to sweeteners. China operations Danisco Ingredients has been active in China since 1995. The firm now has 1,224 employees in the country. Danisco factories in China are located in Kunshan (emulsifiers, functional systems), Wuxi (enzymes), Anyang (xylitol) and Zhangjiagang (CMC). The firm's sales offices are in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.