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Firmenich Opens its Largest Flavor Plant in China—and the World

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Firmenich has opened its largest flavor manufacturing plant, in China’s Zhangjiagang Free Trade Zone.

“This digitally-advanced and highly sustainable plant marks a critical milestone on our journey to shaping the factory of the future,” said Boet Brinkgreve, chief supply chain officer. “With a 70% automation rate, this new plant will boost our customer service, without any compromise on quality, safety and environmental performance, which is non-negotiable for us.”

The facility compliments Firmenich’s existing Chinese sites in Shanghai and Kunming; it has had a presence in the country for more than 30 years, with a network of commercial facilities from Shanghai and Beijing to Guangzhou.

“We’ve been working to delight Chinese consumers with our broad range of local flavors in everything from dairy drinks to tea and noodles for many years,” said Emmanuel Butstraen, president of flavors. “This will enable us to produce locally, highly differentiating technologies that can meet Chinese consumers’ new discerning tastes.”

The site operates with an optimized environmental footprint, designed to enable optimal waste, water, emissions and energy management. It operates with zero waste-to-landfill, and is Firmenich’s first zero liquid discharge sit, ensuring all waste water is purified and recycled at the end of the treatment cycle.

“This significant investment in Zhangjiagang reinforces our long-term commitment to China, our second largest market worldwide,” said CEO Gilbert Ghostine. “This world-class plant massively scales-up our capacity to meet our customers’ demand for innovative and fast-to-market taste solutions. I look forward to seeing the Zhangjiagang plant play a central role in our growth journey.”