Sustainability focus: Kerry’s new US$22m India facility looks to the future with efficiency ambitions

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

Scharinger speaking at the launch of the Kerry Tumkur facility. © Kerry
Scharinger speaking at the launch of the Kerry Tumkur facility. © Kerry

Related tags Kerry India Sustainability

Kerry’s newly launched production plant in India has placed significant focus on technology and design catering to sustainability and efficiency, with the aim of using more energy from renewable sources, its South West Asia Vice President exclusively told us.

Located in the industrial city of Tumkur, the new plant is valued at EUR20mn (US$22.5mn) with an annual production capacity of 26,300 MT. The products manufactured at the site will mostly be for the Kerry Taste and Beverage Systems business.

“Tumkur is strategically located along the main national freight corridor and is part of the upcoming industrial belt. It [also] has good facilities which enables rapid customer service across the region,”​ Kerry South West Asia Vice President and General Manager Scott Scharinger told FoodNavigator-Asia.

“The facility aims to serve the South West Asia region including India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan. However, our flavours are exported to more than 20 countries worldwide.”

One of the key outstanding features of the facility is the many features that have been put into place with a focus on sustainability and energy efficiency, with some designed specifically to accommodate more of such implementations in the future.

“Some of the key initiatives here include the use of energy-efficient LED lights, the powering of various utilities such as street lights using solar power, and the installation of skylight panels in the warehouse roof to maximise the use of natural light,”​ said Scharinger.

“The site has also been constructed with further renewable energy sources in mind – the warehouse roof structure has been designed to accommodate solar panels in the future.

In addition, the site operates based on a Zero Waste to Landfill Drive, which places focus on recycling and recovering resources so as to send no waste to landfills, incinerators or oceans.

“As for water efficiency, we utilise water harvesting measures to reduce water intake, and are also treating and re-using waste water with the aim of achieving Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD),”​ added Scharinger.

Zero Liquid Discharge is a treatment process that aims to remove all liquid waste from a system. According to Scharinger, the company’s ZLD site is located outside of the site’s boundary, and comprises an Effluent Water Treatment Plant, a Sewage Water Treatment Plant and a Process Water Treatment Plant.

Significant investments in India

The facility has been described as Kerry’s ‘fourth significant investment’ ​in India, where the company has been in operation since 2004.

“Besides this, our acquisition of the Cargill global flavours business in 2011 included the India business, we added a liquid processing line to our Bawal plant, and we opened a Research, Development & Application centre (RDAC) in Bangalore in 2014,”​ said Scharinger.

It is unsurprising that Kerry is placing a significant amount of focus on the country, given that India has been predicted to emerge as the frontrunner in terms of F&B consumption in several markets within the APAC region over the next few years.

According to Euromonitor, the total market value of the global fats and oils market was worth US$95.7bn in 2018, of which India and China alone took up some 52%. The market is expected to reach US$126.4bn by 2023.

“[India is the largest market for Fats and Oils, and] urban Indian consumers are increasingly becoming health aware and slowly shifting to healthier edible oil categories, including olive oil and rapeseed oil,”​ said the report.

Dairy is another major emerging market for the country, which is expected to show the highest rate of global growth between 2018 and 2023.

In terms of snacking, Mintel has shown that 60% of Indian consumers snack at least twice a day and 15% snack four or more times daily, a reflection of the large value and potential of the snacks market in the country, whereas IGD has forecasted that the Indian online grocery market will hit US$10.5 billion by 2023.

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