Greek dairy giant FAGE has chosen the Netherlands, the European Union’s third biggest milk producer, for the construction of its new yogurt factory. This comes six years after the announcement of a factory in Luxembourg that never materialized.
For FAGE, the construction of a plant in the Netherlands means easier access to the raw material for its main product – milk from dairy cows – as well as to Western European markets. However, for the industry in Greece, that likely entails a reduction in the output of FAGE’s unit in the country and a drop in the quantities of milk the company procures from Greek producers.
According to the latest available data from Eurostat, the Netherlands accounted for 9.6% of all fresh cows’ milk in the EU that was collected and sent to dairy industries. That only trails the rates of Germany (22.4%) and France (17%).
The new FAGE unit is set for construction at Hoogeveen, in the northeastern Netherlands, at the Riegmeer Hoogeveen business park. This is close to a motorway, which will help with the shipment of the company’s produce. FAGE has signed a provisional agreement with the local authority for a 15-hectare plot where the plant will be developed.
The project will constitute an investment of 150 million euros and will create 250 jobs; it will also add some 40,000 tons of yogurt to the annual production capacity of the Greek dairy enterprise.
According to the company’s plans, the new factory will start operating in the second half of 2024. FAGE will install the innovative equipment and technology it has also installed at its US plant.
The company noted in a statement that it has been in close cooperation not only with the local authorities in Hoogeveen but also with the “Invest in Holland” corporation, the local water company and other Dutch authorities.
The new plan will be FAGE’s second unit abroad, as the dairy firm constructed a yogurt producing unit in Johnstown, New York in 2008. Today the Greek enterprise is active in 31 countries, with its most important markets being the US, Britain and Italy.