Fazer Group, the Finnish food company is starting a new production plant with an investment of EUR10.7 million. The production facility will be based in the city of Lahti and may become operational by the end of next year.
The facility will be used for manufacturing xylitol from oat husks and will be located near the Fazer mills site in Kasakkamaki. The construction is already underway at the site. Fazer unveiled a EUR 40 million expansion plan in January this year, but no disclosure was made on the kind of products which will be manufactured at the facility.
Fazer has now revealed that the plant will be the first in the world to produce xylitol by using its own raw materials. The company oat mill produces millions of kilograms of oat husks every year which were either used as biofuel or as animal feed. The company now wants to market the plant-based xylitol raw material globally.
Vice president of Fazer’s xylitol venture Anna Nicol said that the facility will strengthen the Finnish expertise in oats and bring the xylitol production back to Finland. The Lahti facility is a world-class oat production mill and the new investment Fazer will become the first in the industry to utilize oat hulls for producing value-added oat products such as xylitol.
When the announcement was made in January to start a production facility in Lahti, Fazer wanted to expand in the Northern European markets and in some selected international markets and the Lahti facility was part of the objective.
The chief executive of Lifestyle Foods business of Fazer Mats Liedholm explained in January that, the herbal solutions and products segment is one of the most important development areas for the company and in line with the wider growth strategy. Fazer seeks to become a pioneer in value-added grain products and has done significant investments in new production solutions and technologies. He added that we only invest in innovation which they believe would arouse significant interest not only in Finland and Nordic countries but also globally.
Recently the company has also pledged to completely do away with caged eggs from its supply chain. Fazer Group has operations in non-dairy products, plant-based meals, biscuits and grains, confectionary, bakery and food and drinks. The pledge concerns its supply chain in Lithuania, Latvia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland where the company wants to become 100% cage-eggs free by 2024.
Sneha Varghese is an experienced food & beverage consultant. She covers the latest trends and analysis impacting the food & beverages industry, informing and educating audiences through her writing.