Based at Quorn Foods’ Belasis site in Billingham, in the North East of England, the factory expansion of 9,500m2 will double production capacity of Quorn’s core products, adding approximately 20,000 tonnes per annum.
The is part of a £150m investment by Quorn Foods as the company, part of Nissin Holdings, reacts to increasing demand as more consumers adopt flexitarian, vegetarian and vegan diets.
With scientists predicting a climate change point-of-no-return as early as 2035, flexitarian and meat-free diets have an important role to play. The green-house gas emissions from a bag of Quorn Mince are 90% lower than beef mince.
The state of the art production facility will produce 1.33M packs of Quorn products per week, equivalent to the meat produced by 1,600 cows, Quorn said.
Quorn added that efficiency improvements delivered by the facility expansion will enable continue to reduce its carbon emissions per tonne of food produced, already down by 35% since 2012.
Quorn Foods Chief Executive Kevin Brennan commented: “We are the world leader in meat alternatives and have seen our business grow by 16% in the last year. We see decades of growth ahead of us as consumers respond to growing environmental concerns around meat production. We provide dramatic sustainability benefits compared to meat and with this new facility will enhance those benefits further. Sustainability is at the heart of our organisation and we are committed to ensuring we are being responsible with the carbon footprint of our business.”
The move closely follows Quorn Foods’ elimination of 297 tonnes of non-recyclable plastic from its supply chain and the pledge to achieve 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2025.
The factory expansion builds on Quorn Foods’ strongest ever year of growth and a £7m investment in a Global Innovation Centre at its Stokesley headquarters.
Quorn said it is part of its journey to become a billion-dollar business by 2027.
The investment was welcomed by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, who said it was testament to the area’s skilled workforce.
“Huge household-name businesses are thriving in this region. Quorn Foods’ products are sold around the world, making it an important part of our export economy. It is just one example of how our skills base will help businesses and with them, our region, succeed in an outward-looking post-Brexit world.
“This new multi-million-pound facility, which will double Quorn Foods’ output, shows the firm’s confidence in our area as a great place to invest and do business. It brings with it good jobs, better working practices and the potential for further investment - all central to our aim of driving forward a high-growth, high-wage, low-welfare economy.”