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ECOTONE ANNOUNCES INVESTMENT OF €20 MILLION TO MEET THE GROWING DEMAND FOR VEGETABLE DRINKS IN THE EUROPEAN MARKET

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May 18, 2022

ECOTONE ANNOUNCES INVESTMENT OF €20 MILLION TO MEET THE GROWING DEMAND FOR VEGETABLE DRINKS IN THE EUROPEAN MARKET

Ecotone, a pioneer of organic and plant-based alternatives in France and Europe, has announced a €20 million investment in its plant-based beverage production site in Badia Polesine, northern Italy. The major investment has enabled the establishment of a new production line, which is now in operation, making the plant one of the largest producers of plant-based drinks in Europe.

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A plant-based beverage factory 4.0

Ecotone’s investment in its Italian facility and the development of a new production line will enable the company to produce an additional 27 million liters of plant-based drinks per year, a 30% increase in production capacity.

This major investment is part of the group’s strategy to strengthen the competitiveness of its production sites, with an emphasis on innovation and automation, while promoting the sustainability of its activities.

With the aim of making the Badia Polesine site a flagship of Industry 4.0, the investment focus was on automation, including the implementation of an internal pallet flow management system via laser-guided vehicles.

A reorganization of the factory production workshop also allows for greater automation –
with 50% of its intralogistics requiring no human intervention, with a fully automated production flow between bottling and loading pallets into trucks. The new installation allows for more efficient palletizing, also reduces the use of plastic by 15% and optimizes transport with the elimination of 58 tons of CO2.

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Ecotone has been operating on the Badia Polesine site since 1993, choosing this location to be as close as possible to the production basins of the biological raw materials necessary for the manufacture of its products.

The factory, which produces organic, plant-based drinks for brands such as Bjorg, Bonneterre, Isola Bio, Abbott Kinney’s and EcoCesta, now employs 163 people on a site of more than 14,000 m2, making it one of the largest European production sites of its kind . †

Divided over five production lines, 120 million liters of vegetable drinks leave the factory every year.

The investments made over the past three years to bring production up to Industry 4.0 standards, and the opening of an additional production line, have created 32 new jobs, mainly in technical and R&D positions. More hires are expected as production volume increases.

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With its valuable know-how, the Badia Polesine plant represents a European knowledge center for research and development of plant-based drinks. Firmly anchored in a promising market with high growth potential, Ecotone has over 20 years of experience in the production of plant-based drinks.

Ecotone, a committed player in preserving the environment and biodiversity

Ecotone, a company with a B-Corp certified mission, is pursuing an increasingly demanding and exemplary approach to CSR. Part of its latest investment has been spent on improving the plant’s energy performance.

The production site, which runs exclusively on renewable energy sources, is also equipped with sustainable solutions, including the implementation of a system of total circularity of water, where industrial washing water undergoes biological treatment with activated sludge and is then reused in agricultural production processes. An innovative co-generator, which recovers energy from the plant’s production processes, also supplies the site with 40% of its energy.

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To carry out its mission “Food for Biodiversity”, Ecotone relies on an extensive network of more than 100 producers or 4,500 hectares of 100% organic cultivation, grown without pesticides, herbicides, insecticides or synthetic fertilizers, throughout Italy.

Ecotone is committed to developing agro-ecological practices beyond biological specifications (hedge planting, crop rotation or setting up beehives in the field) to promote greater biodiversity and cultivate more than 35 plant species, enhancing the cultivated biodiversity and to promote the diversity of diets .

Christophe Barnouin, CEO of Ecotone, said:
“This major investment aims to strengthen Ecotone’s industrial competitiveness in a growing plant-based beverage market. With a strong presence across Europe, just like its brands, with nine production sites, including two in France, Ecotone is committed to its values ​​and is leading the way towards greater innovation and sustainability in the food industry. I would like to pay tribute to the tireless mobilization of the teams over the past three years, which has made the project a success and the Badia Polesine
factory
a European industrial flagship.”

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Press contacts:

Emilie Lowenbach – emilie.lowenbach@ecotone.bio

00 33 6 11 23 37 69

About Ecotone

Ecotone is the European leader in organic, vegetarian and Fairtrade food. Its mission is to nurture biodiversity through strong and dedicated brands: Allos, Alter Eco, Bjorg, Bonneterre, Clipper, Destination, Danival, El Granero, Isola Bio, Kallø, Whole Earth and Zonnatura. In 2019, it will be the 1st European food company to achieve B Corp certification. Its family of companies is present in 6 European countries and is headquartered near Lyon. It employs 1600 people and realized a turnover of 725 million euros in 2021. Through the Foundation, the company supports ecosystem restoration and conservation projects.

www.ecotone.bio

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This post ECOTONE ANNOUNCES INVESTMENT OF €20 MILLION TO MEET THE GROWING DEMAND FOR VEGETABLE DRINKS IN THE EUROPEAN MARKET was original published at “https://financialpost.com/globe-newswire/ecotone-announces-e20-million-investment-to-meet-growing-demand-for-plant-based-beverages-in-the-european-market”

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