He said that this major investment has enabled the creation of a new production line, which is now operational, making the plant one of the largest producers of plant-based drinks in Europe.
The factory, which produces organic plant-based drinks for brands including Bjorg, Bonneterre, Isola Bio, Abbott Kinney’s and EcoCesta, employs 163 people at the site which spans more than 14,000m2.
The investment in its Italian site will enable it to produce an additional 27 million liters of vegetable drinks per year. This is a 30% increase in production capacity.
The company said its goal was to make the Badia Polesine site a flagship of Industry 4.0. Its investments have focused on automation, including setting up an in-house pallet flow management system via laser-guided vehicles.
A reorganization of the factory’s production workshop has also enabled increased automation: 50% of its intralogistics requiring no human intervention, and a fully automated production flow between bottling and loading of pallets into trucks. The new facility also reduces plastic use by 15% and optimizes transportation with the elimination of 58 tonnes of CO2, he said.
The production site runs exclusively on renewable energy and has also adopted sustainable solutions, including the implementation of a total water circularity system. This means that industrial wash water undergoes biological treatment with activated sludge and is then reused in agricultural production processes. There is also a co-generator, which recovers energy from the plant’s production processes and also supplies the site with 40% of its energy.
On five production lines, 120 million liters of plant-based beverages leave the factory each year, 50% of which are destined for France, where Ecotone achieves 60% of its turnover.
Christophe Barnouin, Leo of Ecotone, said: “This major investment aims to strengthen Ecotone’s industrial competitiveness in a growing plant-based beverage market. With its presence throughout Europe, like its brands, with nine production sites including two in France, Ecotone is committed to its values and opens the way to more innovation and sustainability in the industry. agri-food.
“I would like to salute the unfailing mobilization of the teams over the past three years, which has enabled the project to succeed and make the Badia Polesine plant a European industrial flagship.