German dairy cooperative DMK yesterday inaugurated a new plant in Strückhausen, Germany. Featuring cutting-edge technology, DMK reports the facility will be used solely for the production of infant nutrition, such as its Humana brand. DMK has invested €145 million (US$164 million) in converting the site into a “state-of-the-art” facility. The company hopes to also boost the economy of the Lower Saxony region and create local job opportunities.
The plant is expected to process up to 40 million kg of GM-free milk per year into powdered baby milk formula for the local and international market. The raw materials of the baby formula are to be sourced from local milk producers.
“The conversion has enabled us to fulfill the requirements for further strategic alignment between the DMK Group and the Humana brand. The investment will allow us to meet the requirements of state-of-the-art baby food production in the future too, both in terms of our own production capacity and our customers' quality, sustainability and flexibility requirements,” notes Ingo Müller, DMK Group’s CEO.
Additionally, the new facilities will be more in tune with environmental practices.
“The new facility is actively saving energy and water. Major parts of the process heat are reused in the powerhouse, in order to heat up water for the Cleaning-in-place (CIP) system or to generate steam. The water from the milk separation can be used to clean and rinse our equipment,” Vera Hassenpflug, Senior External Communications Manager at DMK, tells.
DMK’s myHumana Pack was recently noted for its innovative packaging that allows for a more hygienic and safe way for mothers to prepare baby formula and the new plant will allow its production to meet the international demand.
“Powdered baby milk formula will be produced and packaged exclusively at the site. The diverse formulas will be filled in a wide variety of packaging, from metal cans to a new, innovative packaging – the myHumana Pack – for global markets,” notes Hassenpflug.
“The new site has been developed with a special hygiene concept in order to ensure the highest level of safety. For example, all incoming pallets or raw material are re-palletized on in-house pallets and secondary packaging remains in the logistic area. Each pallet is washed, disinfected and dried before its repeated use in in-house transport and our Big Bags are always filled in the most hygienic zone,” she explains.
“This [new plant] paves the way for further growth. Since October 2018, myHumana Pack has been available in Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Poland. I am therefore even more pleased that we can get the new Humana brand home base in Strückhausen off to a flying start,” says Stefan Eckert, COO of DMK Baby.
The facility will create both long-term prospects and employment opportunities in the region.
“Currently, around 170 employees work at the Strückhausen site – mostly from this region. Future plans even include increasing this number to 230 employees by 2020. Moreover, the processed milk comes from DMK Group farmers located in the immediate vicinity of the site,” says Hassenpflug.
“The investment in Strückhausen is also a clear commitment to the northwest region for us, where we are creating jobs for people in rural areas. The DMK Group makes its contribution to the continued economic development of the region in terms of its plants in Strückhausen, Edewecht, Zeven and the administration location in Bremen, which overall provide more than 2,500 jobs,” notes Müller.
“With the market orientation and focus we have set, we have created the required conditions for achieving double-digit growth in the medium and long term. With massive investments in our new, innovative packaging, the myHumana Pack, we have set the course for our core category of milk formula,” Hassenpflug concludes