Plant-based brand Alpro has announced a new £17 million high-speed production facility and state-of-art trigeneration unit and water treatment plant for its Kettering-based factory which will reduce energy consumption, CO2 emissions and water usage.

The company says the move reflects years of exponential growth for the plant-based and dairy-free sector and is part of a £41 million plan to expand production of its products destined for UK shoppers, enhance its sustainability credentials and create new jobs in the area.

The facility is set to increase production capacity to 300 million litres of soya, oat, rice and coconut drinks a year, and with more products created in the UK, the investment will divide the number of Alpro trucks coming to the UK by four, ‘significantly’ reducing CO2 emissions.

“The changes we are installing will not only accelerate the volume of products we are producing in the UK, for UK shoppers – but will also allow us to keep ahead of the curve and continue being the brand to fuel the category growth and whet the nation’s appetite for delicious and healthy plant-based products, and of course, doing this whilst operating in a planet-friendly way,” says Alpro general manager, Sue Garfitt.

“As a committed B Corp business, our environmental impact matters in everything that we do, so we are proud to be making this positive progress in further reducing our planetary footprint,” she adds. “We’ve made leaps and bounds across our product portfolio, including reducing our packaging usage and striving for 100% recyclable packaging and 100% plant-based or recycled materials by 2025, so it’s vital that our sustainable initiatives are also being reflected in our sustainable manufacturing processes.”

Garfitt says the company has been operating in Kettering for over 20 years and is continuing to invest in the local community. The investment plans have created additional job opportunities within the community, with a further 25 workers hired to meet the increase in capacity.