Tetra Pak’s Budaörs Plant Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Manufacturing

From left, plant director Peter Kortsmit, Mayor Tamás Wittinghoff, Ambassador Dag Hartelius and Tetra Pak VP Dmitry Smolin cut the ribbon inaugurating the new printing machine.

Food packaging manufacturer Tetra Pak has celebrated the 30th anniversary of its plant in Budaörs (about 7 km east of the center of the capital) with a celebration at the factory that included the inauguration of a new printing machine.

The company also invited special guests, including the Swedish Ambassador to Hungary, Dag Hartelius, and the Mayor of Budaörs, Tamás Wittinghoff.

Hartelius remarked that the company’s plant in Budaörs is an excellent example of cooperation between Sweden and Hungary. He praised the welcoming Hungarian business environment, adding that “green business is good business.” He also noted that the company is a great illustration of how afirm can serve people via innovation.

Tetra Pak was founded in Sweden with the aim of creating affordable, modern, and safe packaging for food. While the firm initially created packaging for dairy products only, its portfolio now also caters to fruit and vegetable juices, mineral water, soups, sauces, pet food, and more.

The company was one of the first major Western firms to establish a plant in Hungary, with the foundation stone laid in 1989. Shortly afterward, in 1992, production started in the 18,350 sqm factory, which now exports approximately 2.5 billion pieces of packaging product a year to 54 countries around the world.

“The Tetra Pak factory in Budaörs is of great importance worldwide, as it is the home of our innovative Tetra Recart product, the biggest breakthrough in food packaging since the patenting of cans,” Dmitry Smolin, Tetra Pak vice president for EMEA, told the audience.

“We have invested many years to develop our factory in Hungary, demonstrating our commitment toinnovation, people and the country. Thenew printing press will enable a more efficient, sustainable operation, delivering ongoing value to our customers and the environment,” he added.

Exclusive Provision

The site currently employs more than 500 people, and its importance in the company’s supply chain is demonstrated by the fact that Tetra Recart packaging solutions are supplied exclusively by theBudaörs plant worldwide.

Laura Latisonoka, Tetra Recart Solutions vice president, followed Smolin on the stage with a short presentation about the benefits of Tetra Recart. Its packaging is recyclable, made mainly from renewable raw materials, and the wood fibers used in its production come from FSC-certified forests and other controlled sources.

The cane-based plastic closures and specific cardboard layers available on some products also contribute to climate protection.

She also highlighted that the carton packaging is capable of surviving harsh environments while also retaining a long shelf-life, meaning that it could act as a new way of storing food as an alternative to regular cans.

“Tetra Pak was the first large multinational company after the change of regime to choose our city as its Hungarian or regional headquarters,” noted Mayor Tamás Wittinghoff, apolitician with the now defunct Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ) until 2010, since when he has run as a member of the Budaörs Fejlődéséért Egyesület (For the Development of Budaörs Association).

“It has been a model for us to see how they have grown from a family business into a dominant company with innovative solutions. We quickly understood that a municipality could develop by applying innovative solutions and gradually building up its economic base,” the mayor said.

Providing Opportunities

“It is the tax revenues that provide the opportunity to make the municipality more and more liveable for its citizens and local businesses. We believe that environmental protection, energy efficiency, and the recycling of materials are very important to Tetra Pak. These aspects are also important in the field of urban development inBudaörs,” Wittinghoff noted.

Peter Kortsmit, the director of Tetra Pak’s Budaörs plant, noted, “We know that we owe our success to our employees. Tetra Pak started as a family business, and that spirit is still very important to us today. Part of our values at all times is to create a safe environment with modern technology and a stable workplace for our employees,” he said.

“We are proud of our colleagues working at the Budaörs plant, and I am delighted that we can celebrate this special anniversary together,” Kortsmit added.

Marking its 30th anniversary with a fresh project, Tetra Pak inaugurated its new printing press, which will provide a 20% increase in printing capacity, helping to boost efficiency. The machine was started after a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring Kortsmit, Wittinghoff, Hartelius, and Smolin.

According to the company, customer satisfaction will increase thanks to automated quality control equipment. The new machine will also reduce energy consumption, as well as production and process waste, while the automatic ink handling system will ensure more ergonomic working conditions. The new machine will also improve the printing quality.

Tetra Pak says it is currently looking to create the world’s most sustainable beverage carton and promises that the Budaörs plant will play an essential role in achieving this goal as well.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of November 7, 2022.

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