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FrieslandCampina completes plant expansion in NE Hungary

Dutch multinational dairy cooperative FrieslandCampina, the manufacturer of classic Hungarian chocolate-covered curd bar Pöttyös Túró Rudi and Milli products, has completed the first phase of expansion at its plant in Mátészalka (NE Hungary), bringing about a 25% increase in capacity.

Túró Rudi production at the freshly expanded plant in Mátészalka

The company says this first step aims at satisfying increasing domestic demand, while also creating a solid base for regional exports, meaning that the iconic Hungarian curd and chocolate bar may appear in neighboring countries as well in the next few years, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

The project was carried out over the last 18 months, with costs amounting to HUF 1.5 billion. The expansion is part of a five-year process, and the completion of the first phase means that the plant is able to produce more kinds of Túró Rudi, and that it will buy more milk from local producers.

Péter Szautner, CEO of FrieslandCampina Hungária, said the company purchases ingredients for its wide range of dairy products from 45 domestic producers, with the use of long-term contracts. A further 350 companies supply other materials such as packaging.

At the opening ceremony, Minister of Agriculture István Nagy noted that the dairy industry is one of the most significant branches of the entire food industry in Hungary, with a nearly 10% share with regards to revenues and investment. He added that the nearly 100 companies involved in the industry managed to achieve total revenues of HUF 316 bln, employing more than 6,600 workers.

Nagy also emphasized that the industry has been assisted by nearly HUF 26 bln in EU and domestic support, noting that FrieslandCampinaʼs Mátészalka plant is a resounding success, processing 45 million kilograms of raw milk every six months, and reaching a production volume growth of 33% over the last five years.

Public records show FrieslandCampina Hungária had 462 employees in 2018 on average and net revenue reached HUF 30.9 bln, with after-tax profit of HUF 2.1 bln, state news wire MTI reported.