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Minister of Agriculture lauds automation at Nestlé plant

Minister of Agriculture István Nagy hailed digitalization and automation as key factors in keeping Hungarian agriculture competitive at a visit to Nestléʼs robotized pet food factory, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

Some 40 robots are in operation at the Nestlé factory in Bük (NE Hungary), making millions of portions of pet food. The minister noted during his visit that targeted automation and widely accessible digital solutions are needed to increase the competitiveness of agriculture in Hungary.

Nestlé Hungary has invested more than HUF 43 billion in the past seven years, strengthening its position as the largest Swiss investor and job provider in the country, says the press release. The 2017 development of the Bük pet food factory, costing HUF 20 bln, makes it one of the largest factories of its kind on the entire continent, it adds. Despite automation, the company says headcount at the factory rose to nearly 1,000 recently, with employees taking care of increasingly higher value-added tasks, thanks to the modern technology.

Every day, about 50 truckloads of processed pet food leave the Bük site, with 90% of the output manufactured for export to 42 different countries around the globe. Nestlé says it provides an opening to the export market for Hungarian agriculture, as 85% of its suppliers are Hungarian companies.

"These nearly 2,000 domestic SMEs provide wares and services for the Swiss food industry giant to a value that exceeds HUF 50 bln," says Gábor Szabó, Nestlé Hungaryʼs regional purchasing manager.